Harry Roque’s protest: ‘I did not lie’
That looks like it won’t be happening. Instead, he is given the option to head the office of press secretary, which still does not exist and if created out of the Presidential Communication Operations Office, might dislodge its present PCOO chief, Martin Andanar. Roque’s staying seems doomed to create an upheaval in the President’s communication apparatus. was but it didn’t sound clear enough to journalists who focused on the denial, not on absence of knowledge, by the spokesman.
The headlines of course were about Roque’s denial, followed the next day by Duterte’s admission.
Roque did not use the tack of White House press secretary Sara HuckabeeSanders who would’ve said, “I don’t know the answer to that, will get back to you.” A no-comment, not denial. Or police regional chief Gen. Debold Sinas who when asked, “Are journalists safe from arrest?” promptly shot back, “Yes ... for now.” Not iron-clad promise, an assurance just for the moment.
Which raises the speculation that Duterte must have intended to “burn” Roque and give him a reason to quit or accept another job in the government.
Roque couldn’t say he wasn’t warned about serving as presidential spokesman. Friends and critics alike called out the potential conflict of interest: Roque’s personal beliefs, as expressed in what he said and did before he came aboard the Duterte ship of state, clashed with the President’s views and style.