Lagman hits Roque appointment as Duterte’s official apologist: ‘Charade is over’


Albay first-district Rep. Edcel Lagman said the appointment of Kabayan partylist Rep. Harry Roque as President Rodrigo Duterte’s new spokesperson showed that the latter’s “charade” is over.

He said Roque, a deputy minority leader at the House of Representatives, was chosen by Duterte for his statements “minimizing the grave import” of extrajudicial killings related to the government’s bloody drug war.

Lagman said Roque, as a former human rights lawyer, “failed to criticize Duterte’s predisposition to authoritarian rule and intention to declare a revolutionary government.”

Roque, too, “advocated for the creation of a panel to investigate the Ombudsman and recommend her impeachment for unwarranted and politically motivated reasons,” he added.

“The projected appointment of Rep. Harry Roque as presidential spokesman with the rank of cabinet secretary confirms his dubious role in defending the President’s wayward policies even as he is nominally a Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives,” Lagman said.

He cited Roque’s voting record at the House: “(Roque) voted for the confirmation of the declaration of marital law and its extension; and he did not vote against the reduction of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) budget to P1,000 and even called for a zero budget for the CHR.”

“The charade is now over as Roque is liberated and obligated to be the President’s official apologist,” Lagman said. “We wish Roque well in his job of justifying the unjustifiable and defending the indefensible pronouncements and policies of the President.”

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