MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reminded President Rodrigo Duterte's supporters not to "throw anything at legitimate journalists," after pro-Duterte blogger Rey Joseph Nieto incited violence against Rappler reporter Pia Ranada.
"To my DDS friends: Please leave Pia Ranada alone. Let us please not throw anything at legitimate journalists. Let's give them, particularly the critical ones, hot pandesal instead," Roque said on Friday, November 3, in a Facebook post.
DDS refers to "Duterte Diehard Supporters."
Days before this, in an interview with Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, Roque threatened Duterte critics – those who badmouth the president – that he would throw not only stones but hollow blocks to retaliate against them.
He later clarified that this was not a threat but an "assurance" to Duterte supporters that he would defend the President from criticism.
Roque, a member of the House of Representatives minority bloc, is set to formally take his oath of office during a Cabinet meeting on November 6.
Prior to entering politics, Roque was a practicing lawyer who often took on human rights cases. He also represented journalists in libel cases against them. – Rappler.com