DAVAO CITY, Philippines – He’s not just a mouthpiece but also a staunch defender of his boss, so don’t make the mistake of crossing paths with newly appointed presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — He’s not just a mouthpiece but also a staunch defender of his boss, so don’t make the mistake of crossing paths with newly appointed presidential spokesman Harry Roque.
“If, in the past, you were able to throw stones without anyone hitting back, be warned that if you throw stones, I won’t just throw stones but hollow blocks,” Roque said in a video interview with Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson before they joined Duterte on a working visit to Japan the other night.
“Stop throwing stones. If you want, just help the country with the many problems it is facing. Just wait for the adobe and hollow blocks that I will throw at you,” Roque warned.
He clarified though that he also believes in “allowing the marketplace of ideas to flourish.”
The President officially announced the appointment of Roque, former Kabayan party-list representative, as presidential spokesman replacing Ernesto Abella, who has reportedly been offered positions in other offices, including ambassador to either Australia or Germany.
Roque said he looks forward to being able to communicate the government’s messages to the Filipino people in his new role.
He noted that he has not had a negative experience with the press in the past and hopes to have a good working relationship with the media and the Malacañang Press Corps.
Although his first Cabinet meeting would be on Nov. 6, Roque already got to work as presidential spokesman when he acted as moderator of the President’s pre-departure press briefing Sunday night.
Duterte is confident that Roque would live up to expectations.
“It’s in the messaging, actually. We cannot speak the same words altogether but how he would convey that message from me would be most important,” the President said.
He refused to detail why he had to replace Abella and appoint Roque as presidential spokesman, except to say that “the reason is my personal decision, I am not about to explain why I did it.”
Senators wished Roque good luck and advised him to make sure he clarifies the President’s messages.