Duterte wants clarifications from Harry Roque over senatorial bid in 2019

Marje Pelayo   •   October 12, 2018   •   3174

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants to personally clarify things from Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque as he is getting impatient of Roque’s “inconsistency” regarding his plans for the 2019 mid-term elections.

“I hope I would not offend Harry. Sabi niya magtakbo siya ng Senador, So sabi ko: ‘Sige.’ Automatic may naisip na ako, Sabi ko: ‘Sal, ikaw muna. If you want it, then I’ll scout for another legal adviser.’ Tapos, kinabukasan sabi niya (Roque), hindi na raw. Tapos kinabukasan (uli) sabi tatakbo na naman…Sabi ni Bong hindi naman tatakbo…Bigla akong nahilo. Saan ba tayo pupunta nito, Bong,” the President said during a press briefing on Friday (October 12) following his arrival from Indonesia.

The President suggested to Roque to defer his plans of running until the 2021 elections so he could establish his political career more and have more time to prepare.

 “Ano ba talaga, tatakbo, hindi tatakbo. Mabuti pa paabutin na lang niya ng 2021, mas longer space to make a choice with finality,” he said.

Meanwhile, the President clarified that his appointment of Presidential Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo as spokesperson is temporary.

The President, however, cannot decide yet as to what position to offer Roque should the latter finally make up his mind and decide not to pursue his senatorial bid.

“The problem kung mag announce ako ngayon, di ko pa siya nakausap. baka mapalpak ako kasi yun pa naman ginamit niya, he was kept in the dark,” he said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Janice Ingente)

Duterte to deliver public address on April 12, Roque says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his public address on Monday (April 12), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. confirmed.

In a text message to reporters on Saturday (April 10), the Palace official said the President will push through with his weekly public address on Monday.

Duterte skipped his public address last week after several members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) tested positive for the COVID-19. Due to his several days of absence, speculations have surfaced questioning the state of the President’s health.

However, several officials, already assured that Duterte is of good health and will deliver his public address on Monday.

Meanwhile, Roque said he was admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 treatment. AAC

SC junks petition vs PH withdrawal from ICC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (March 16) unanimously junked petitions against the Philippines ‘ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The high court said the issue of the country’s withdrawal from the ICC  has been considered moot as the withdrawal has already taken effect on March 17, 2019.

“In a unanimous decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, the Supreme Court dismissed the Petition questioning the unilateral withdrawal for being moot and academic,” the SC said in a briefer released on Tuesday (March 16).

The statement released by the SC public information office says the decision acknowledged that the President, as the primary architect of foreign policy, is subject to the Constitution and existing statute.

Therefore, the power of the President to withdraw unilaterally can be limited by the conditions for concurrence by the Senate or when there is an existing law that authorizes the negotiation of a treaty or international agreement or when there is a statute that implements an existing treaty,” it added.

Two petitions were filed against President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the ICC, stating the decision still requires concurrence from two-thirds of the members of the Senate.

“The Court also noted that the judiciary has enough powers to protect human rights contrary to speculations raised by the petitioners,” the briefer reads.

Duterte made the announcement in March 2018, after the ICC announced it will conduct a preliminary investigation on the government’s war on drugs. -AAC

Sec. Roque to undergo facility-based quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   March 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque says he is now inclined to undergo a facility-based quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

During his stint as presidential spokesperson amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Roque has undergone 35 RT-PCR tests.

He said he is currently asymptomatic and admitted that he was shocked to find out that he was infected with the virus.

“It came as a surprise and a shock. It’s not just a shock na after about 35 tests nag-positive tayo,” he noted.

The Palace official said he plans to stay at an institutional quarantine facility since his wife also has comorbidities like him.

Sec. Roque clarifies, however, that he had no close interaction with President Rodrigo Duterte or other Cabinet members.

He says he met the Chief Executive last Thursday, March 11 on the launching of the rehabilitation projects for the Dumaguete-Sibulan airport and he was still negative for COVID-19.

“Hindi naman ako nakipag-close interaction with anyone kasi pag public event, hindi naman ako bumubulong and I tried to keep my distance also,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the official also advises those who had close contact with him during the past days to undergo quarantine and RT-PCR test.

The official will keep on working while in isolation.

He will also attend the meeting with the President and the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 virtually.

“Tinamaan po tayo ng COVID-19. Wala naman po tayong sintomas. Mag-a-isolate tayo para huwag makahawa,” he said.

“Pero tuloy po tayo sa hanapbuhay dahil ganiyan po talaga ang buhay. Tuloy-tuloy ang buhay kahit nandiyan si COVID,” he concluded. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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