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Does Roque know his job?

The appointment of former Party-List Rep. Harry Roque as presidential spokesman raises a lot of questions, and these have confused a lot of people.

Is a presidential spokesman a mere mouthpiece of the president, period? Can the spokesman advise the President on what he should say or not say? Is a spokesman a mere interpreter of what the President says?

I really don’t know the job description of a spokesman; what I do know is that he deals with the media and the people.

He cannot be adviser because the President already has an adviser on all matters—on human rights, on legal issues, and many other things.

Thus I believe Roque’s duty is to be a mouthpiece—convey what the President wants to say or interpret what he means.

I have known presidential spokesmen, and they tell me if they have to lie to protect their boss they would do it. That’s their job.

So when Mr. Duterte told Roque not to lie, he was asking him to do the impossible. This is why Speaker Ernesto Abella could not fit in—as a pastor, he could not lie.

President Duterte must define Roque’s role.

Meanwhile, I was really surprised when Roque said he would throw hollow blocks at the President’s critics.

***

Metro Manila is the best place to stay in during the All Saints’ Day holidays.

Motorists can go anywhere they like free from the horrendous traffic in the metro.

I am also told that it seems everybody has gone to Baguio City and that Session Road has become a big parking lot.

***

I am an old man at 90 years, but I think I have been blessed that my mind is as sharp as ever. I do forget names and places sometimes, but they come back to me after a while. I walk, albeit with a cane, and I can still pound on my Olympia typewriter. Yes I use a typewriter to write my column which I then fax to the Standard.

My son Eric bought me a phone but all I can do with it is receive calls. I can’t text.

Old age has its blessings. People offer me their seats. Security guards help me out of the car and back in. When I go to the bank, I don’t wait for my turn.

My past is still fresh in my mind.

***

There have been groups calling for the end of tyranny and fascism, obviously referring to President Duterte’s threat of imposing a revolutionary government.

What is obvious about these groups is that they are led by has-beens from the BS Aquino administration.

They deplore martial law? I think many in Mindanao want martial law to remain to contain any further threat of terrorism.

The problem with these groups is that people cannot relate to what they are fighting for. All the political noise is not doing the country any good.

***

After Mr. Duterte ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to lead the war on drugs, there have been less killings of drug suspects from poor communities,

Still, let us not forget the many killings that have been unresolved. Those responsible for them must be held accountable.

Topics: Harry Roque , Ernesto Abella , All Saints’ Day , President Duterte
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