Roque says Duterte supports his statements against CA decision dismissing murder case vs ex-Palawan governor
President Rodrigo Duterte has given his go signal to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque to issue strong statements against the decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing the murder case of former Palawan governor Mario Joel T. Reyes.
In a press briefing on Thursday, Roque said he has Duterte's support following the threat of Reyes' camp to cite the spokesman in contempt of court for apparently lawyering for the camp of slain environmentalist Gerardo Ortega in 2011.
"Well, I welcome that, so I can probably explain to the convicted felon - he is a convicted felon, remember, what the role of the executive is. The chief executive is the chief implementor of the law," said Roque, a former lawyer for the Ortega family.
He explained every crime is prosecuted by the executive in the name of the people of the Philippines.
"Of course, it is the duty and obligation of the state to accord its citizens justice. I spoke in that capacity. I have no regrets and even the President approved of my statements," Roque stressed.
In a previous press briefing, Roque said the appellate court's decision was "alarming" and a "travesty of justice."
He has said the government would exhaust all legal remedies to reverse the CA decision, which found no probable cause to indict Reyes, who allegedly masterminded Ortega's killing.
Ortega, who was also a radio commentator, was critical of Reyes when he was still Palawan's governor.
Reyes, who was immediately released from detention following the CA decision, has said that Roque could not be lawyering for others because it was a conflict of interest.
He has also said the office that Roque represents could easily sway the judiciary. Celerina Monte/DMS