DAVAO CITY, Philippines — What prompted Kabayan Party-list Representative Harry Roque to accept the position as the Presidential Spokesperson?
In a Facebook post on Saturday, October 28, Roque said that he decided to accept President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to be his spokesperson “to address key human rights issues” in the country.
“By taking this position, I hope to be able to advise the President directly regarding the manner and methods he has used to tackle the problem of drugs,” Roque said.
As a lawmaker his voice is “limited,” Roque said in as much as he wanted to bring his human rights advocacy in the halls of Congress.
“Politicians who relentlessly criticize the administration are simply ignored and labeled as destabilizers,” he said, adding that he already expressed willingness to serve the adviser of the president on the matter.
Roque pointed out that his position on human rights has not changed, saying that he will remain a “firm advocate for the protection and preservation of a person’s fundamental human rights.”
“By accepting this position, I am not condoning the violence surrounding the government’s anti-drug campaign, nor do I intend to further the same,” he noted.
In order to deliver his function as the president’s mouthpiece, Roque said that he will bring the attention of the people to the “fundamental position of the State.”
“By taking up this position, I intend to refocus the attention of the people more towards the fundamental position of the State, and less towards the manner by which such has been declared,” he said.
He will also attempt “to reduce, if not totally eradicate, the impact of statements which appear to support genocide or violations of fundamental human rights.”
Roque claims that he is “not condoning the violence surrounding the government’s anti-drug campaign, nor do I intend to further the same.”
“Regardless of whether I am a member of Congress or of the President’s Cabinet, I continue to value the right to life and dignity of every person and do not support the arbitrary killing of any person by the State,” he added. (davaotoday.com)