Duterte's order to Roque: "Do what is right, tell the truth"
"Do what is right and tell the truth."
This was President Rodrigo Duterte's directive to his new spokesperson, lawyer Harry Roque, who will formally assume the post next week.
In his first press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday, Roque said these were the only two things that Duterte told him when he agreed to be his spokesman, replacing Ernesto Abella.
"Think for what is right for the country and never lie. So do what is right and tell the truth. Two orders," he said when asked of Duterte's marching order.
Unlike his predecessor who had the rank of Undersecretary, Roque will be part of the Cabinet and he will have a separate office with that of Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar.
"I believe it will be an independent office. I was given a Cabinet rank. But of course, needless to say, I will be working very closely with Secretary Andanar and the PCOO," he said.
Roque said he would also hold an "advisory position that would not be incompatible with the Cabinet appointment." He said he will appoint a deputy spokesperson who is a millennial.
"I think I’m choosing this person because I want a link between a 72-year-old President and the millennials of today. You will not be disappointed with my choice," Roque said as he refused to divulge yet the name of his deputy.
He also assured that no one from the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson would be removed until after Christmas. But by next year, he would bring with him people whom he trusts. Celerina Monte/DMS