Lawyer Harry Roque was brought back as President Duterte’s spokesman as the COVID-19 situation needed a new tact of messaging, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said yesterday.
Panelo made the statement after it was reported that Roque was returning to Malacañang to serve as presidential spokesman, a post he held from late 2017 to 2018 before resigning to run for Senate in the 2019 polls.
In a text message, Panelo confirmed that Roque was reclaiming his seat in Malacanang. Panelo is still Duterte’s chief legal counsel.
“Yup. Harry Roque will be back to his previous post. I’m still the chief presidential legal counsel. I will be performing the same role as the President’s chief lawyer and issuing statements as such,” he said.
Panelo said Roque was bought back because the COVID-19 situation called for another method of delivering the message to the public. “The present crisis requires a new tack in messaging,” Panelo said.
Communications Assistant Secretary Queenie Rodulfo confirmed that Roque accepted Duterte’s offer to rejoin the administration. “Mr. Roque will hold the same position he formerly held, presidential spokesperson with the rank of secretary,” she said.
Roque resigned from the Duterte Cabinet in October 2018 to run for Senate. He, however, withdrew his candidacy due to health reasons. (Argyll Geducos)