Tag Archives: HARRY ROQUE

Roque hoping for ‘miracle’ of Sara Duterte running for president

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque is hoping for a “miracle” that Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte would run as president in the May 2022 national elections.

Roque is still undecided about running for senator in the 2022 polls but will consider pushing through if Sara, who filed her candidacy for reelection in Davao City, changes her mind.

He made this remark after the People’s Reform Party (PRP) disclosed that he is among the senatorial candidates of the political party formed by the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

“Unang-una po, umaasa pa rin tayo na gaya ng sinabi natin na nais natin tumakbo kasama po si Mayor Sara, ‘yan po yung pinaka importanteng konsiderasyon. (We are still hopeful that I could run together with Mayor Sara, that’s the most important consideration),” he said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque acknowledged that Sara herself has dismissed substituting for other candidates, but he is still hoping that she would rethink this decision.

“Habang hindi pa po tapos ‘yung substitution marami pa rin pong umaasa. Alam ko po sinabi niya hindi na talaga, pero malay niyo naman po magkaroon ng milagro (While substitution has not ended yet, there are still those hoping. I know she said she won’t run, but a miracle could still happen),” he added.

Political parties only have until November 15 to replace their candidates for the 2022 polls.

Roque said he was also considering the huge amount of money needed to campaign for a national position.

“Ako po’y hindi anak mayaman, hindi po ako anak politiko. Napakatinding paghamon ‘yung salapi na kinakailangan para tumakbo (I was not born with rich parents and I am not the child of politicians. The amount needed to run for a national post is a huge challenge),” he added.

On October 2, Sara filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) for her third and final term for mayor.

She did not give in to her supporters’ clamor for her to run for president in the 2022 polls up to the last minute of the COC filing last October 8.

Instead, it was former Philippine National Police chief, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who filed his COC for president under PDP-Laban. He is also a member of Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago party.

In a press statement last Friday, PRP vice president Rey David said Roque is expected to join former Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. in the PRP Senate slate as a substitute candidate.

He said the party is also hopeful that Sara would reconsider her political decision and run for the presidency. (PNA)

Palace slams ‘unfortunate’ European Parliament resolution

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Malacañang on Friday described as “unfortunate” the European Parliament’s resolution calling for an end to the alleged extrajudicial killings amid the country’s intensified campaign against illegal drugs.

“We, of course, find it unfortunate that members of the European Parliament once again interfered with the affairs of the Philippine state, rehashing issues and baseless claims that have been explained adequately by the Philippine government in several official statements,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
“We reiterate that the Philippine administration — the government under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte — does not engage in so-called extrajudicial killings,” he said.
Roque also refuted claims that 12,000 have already been killed since Duterte began his anti-illegal drugs campaign upon assumption of office in 2016.
“We challenge them — where are your data, the evidence of 12,000 who died? Impunity doesn’t have a place in our society and we continue to follow process and hold officers accountable for their actions,” he explained.
Government date showed about 4,100 people have been killed in anti-drug operations.
Legal arrest
On the European Parliament’s call for the release of Senator Leila de Lima, Roque said de Lima’s arrest on illegal drug charges has been declared legal with finality by the Supreme Court.
He reminded the European Parliament that the Philippine justice system is working and that the executive department does not interfere with the judiciary.
“The judiciary is working. The lower courts and the Supreme Court are not influenced by the politicians,” Roque said.
The European Parliament’s resolution also asked the Philippine government to remove UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous People Victoria Tauli-Corpuz from the list of terrorists.
NPA links
Roque, meanwhile, explained that military intelligence reports claim that Corpuz has links to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army.
Tauli-Corpuz, he said, has not yet been tagged as terrorist since her case is still in court.
“Ms. Corpuz can submit controverting evidence linking her with the terrorist group. We will allow the court to decide,” he said.
Roque called on members of the European Parliament to exercise prudence in issuing resolutions.
“We understand a number of whom we have close ties with the local political opposition who tried to distort realities that we have a working democracy, where people now enjoy peace and order,” he said.
Roque said he finds the European Parliament’s resolution inconsistent with the European Union’s recent move to give financial assistance for the Philippines’ war on drugs.
“I find it inconsistent that the European parliament will condemn the war against drugs which is now also being financed partly by the European Union,” he said.
He clarified that the Philippines has no problem with the EU, noting that “perhaps it is the EU that should communicate with the European parliament.”
On the European Parliament’s call for EU to remove the Philippines from the UN Human Rights Council, Roque said it will be decided by the UN system itself.
“The members of the UN Human Rights Council are elected by the general assembly. That’s a call to be made by the general assembly,” he pointed out.
Roque said he is expecting the Department of Foreign Affairs to take the necessary steps to what he called unfair action by the European Parliament. (PNA)

House finds probable cause to impeach Sereno

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Palace welcomes verdict

Malacanang on Thursday lauded the House Committee on Justice’s findings that there was probable cause to impeach Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the House panel’s verdict proves that the processes provided in the Constitution have been working well.
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“This is another evidence that the processes provided in our Constitution particularly the impeachment process which holds our high officials liable is working,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
“So we are happy to see that our institution is working again,” he added.
Voting 38-2, the House Committee on Justice  found probable cause to impeach Sereno over alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, corruption, betrayal of public trust and other high crimes.
The House panel made the decision after five months of weekly hearings on complaint filed by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon against Sereno.
Roque clarified though that the panel’s decision has to be approved first at the plenary before it will be submitted to the Senate sitting as impeachment court.
“What has been approved today was at the committee level. As we have seen on what happened to chairman Bautista, the decision of the committee could be reversed once it reaches the plenary,” Roque explained.
“So let’s wait the vote in the plenary because it would serve as the key whether the impeachment will move forward as impeachment case in the Senate,” he added.
Roque was referring to former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Andres Bautista who stepped down on Oct. 11 last year, the same day the House of Representatives voted, 137-75-2, to impeach him.
The impeachment complaint against Bautista has been declared moot and academic after President Rodrigo Duterte accepted his resignation. (PNA)

DUTERTE BANK RECORDS OPEN TO PUBLIC BUT NOT TO TRILLANES

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President Rodrigo Duterte said he will “give authority” to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to look into his bank records.

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The President said this during the oath-taking of PACC members in Malacañang on Tuesday, March 6.
Kayo (You), anytime, I will give you the authority,” Duterte said.
The PACC members, he said, can even use their connections in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The BSP chairman supervises the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
“You want to know my bank accounts? I’ll give it to you, right now. No joke,” he said.
Harry-Roque (1)Harry, Roque, presidential spokesman, reiterated the President’s statement the following day,  bu added an exception. 
The bank accounts of President Rodrigo R. Duterte are open to the public except to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Roque said Wednesday,  March 7.
Malinaw na paulit-ulit na sinasabi ni Presidente, wala siyang tinatago. Ang ayaw lang niya, buksan ni Trillanes (The President has repeatedly said that he’s not hiding anything. What he doesn’t want is for Senator Trillanes to open them),” Roque said in a briefing in Palawan.
Roque  made the remark after Duterte said Tuesday that he would allow the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to investigate his bank accounts.
“You, you want to know my bank accounts? I’ll give it to you, right now. Kayo, anytime, I will give you the authority. Honestly, wala kayong makuha (You, anytime, I will give you the authority. Honestly, you won’t get anything),” Duterte told the PACC members during their oath-taking in Malacañang.
Pero ikaw kalaban ko sa politika (But if you’re a political enemy)? Do not, if you want evidence, do not get it from my mouth or make me do the effort,” he added.
Roque earlier said the Ombudsman has the power to open Duterte’s bank accounts even without the permission of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
Trillanes, who filed a complaint over Duterte’s alleged ill-gotten wealth, earlier claimed that the Ombudsman junked the investigation because the ALMC refused to cooperate.

So kung gugustuhin po, nagawa na rin po siguro, nakita na po siguro yan ng Ombudsman kung ano ang bank accounts ni Presidente Duterte (So if the Ombudsman wanted, or the Ombudsman could have probably checked President Duterte’s bank accounts already),” he added.

In a letter dated Feb. 12, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang confirmed that the probe into Duterte’s alleged ill-gotten was already terminated on Nov. 29, 2017.

Roque earlier said that the Palace was “disappointed” by how the Ombudsman did not immediately disclose that it had junked the probe on Duterte’s alleged ill-gotten wealth.

Medyo masama ang loob ng Palasyo (The Palace is quite disappointed). Na-terminate na pala ang imbestigasyon (The investigation was already terminated) because of lack of evidence bakit di inanunsyo (why wasn’t it announced)?” Roque said. (PNA)