Palace on Duterte’s EJK remarks: Nothing serious

Marje Pelayo   •   September 28, 2018   •   2583

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque | PCOO

MANILA, Philippines – “Hindi na naman iyan seryoso.”

This was how Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque described President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark on extrajudicial killings which made his critics believe it was an admission of guilt.

Roque said the President was actually stressing a more important point which the critics missed, and that is — that he never had a single stain of corruption.

“It’s also na idinidiin lang niya na talagang hindi siya nagnanakaw. Pero I don’t think na ang konteksto niyan ay literal. That’s the President being himself, being playful, highlighting the point na hindi siya corrupt,” said Roque.

Roque also explained in a radio interview that the President’s statement was not self-incriminating because it was not done under oath.

Chief presidential legal counsel Atty. Salvador Panelo, meanwhile, was also quick to defend the President on the EJK issue saying he actually meant otherwise.

“Ang ibig niyang sabihin, ‘Ang isyu lang laban sa akin ay extrajudicial killings,’ iyon ang ibig sabihin nun. Alam mo, Bisaya si Presidente,” Panelo said.

President Duterte’s drug war has earned massive criticisms not only in the Philippines but around the world.

Complaints have been filed in the International Criminal Court against the President for his role in the alleged mass murder of drug suspects under his anti-illegal drugs campaign. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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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