MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said only President Rodrigo Duterte can decide if he should still serve his administration, in response to bloggers' calls for him to resign.
"It’s a matter that he should address to the President because the President appointed me," said Roque on Tuesday, November 6, referring to Thinking Pinoy account owner RJ Nieto who called for his replacement on Monday.
"We serve at the pleasure of the President. All Cabinet members serve at the pleasure of the President," added Roque.
The newly-appointed spokesman even volunteered to relay pro-Duterte's bloggers' call to the President himself.
"I will tell the President that Mr Nieto has said that I should be removed. I will relay that to the President," he said.
Roque maintained that he believes he is fulfilling Duterte's two marching orders: for him to do what is right and stay truthful.
"I stated what I think is right, and I stated what I think is true," said Roque. (READ: Roque says he respects rights of media, Duterte defenders)
He addressed pro-administration bloggers' concerns that he appeared to be defending only journalists by saying it is his job as spokesman to "deal officially" with the Malacañang Press Corps.
The job of dealing with Duterte's supporters on social media falls upon Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary for Social Media Mocha Uson, said Roque.
"I speak as a spokesperson of the President to all Filipinos especially to those who, I believe, should have a better understanding of what the President is doing and what the President is saying," he said. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.