Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler
After netizens unearthed Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque singing praises for Senator Antonio Trillanes IV way back when, netizens resurrected a video of the spokesman telling people not to vote Rodrigo Duterte for president.
The 30-second video shared with Rappler shows Roque speaking at a forum about Ferdinand Marcos' Martial Law. The video was also uploaded on Facebook page Samasa Kontra Mandarambong.
"Please, I want you to go out and not just vote against him but convince your neighbors and friends that because the right to life is the most important of them all, please do not vote for this murderer, this self-professed murderer," he told the room.
A member of an audience then stood up and said, "But sir, Duterte is a very charismatic figure and a lot of people like him."
Roque responded, "Well, Hitler was charismatic and so was Marcos."
Roque's words in the video, uttered when he was still an activist lawyer, are a far cry from his defenses of Duterte's kill threats and bloody crackdown on illegal drugs as presidential spokesperson.
"Let us not underestimate the success of the President in the war against drugs. In fact, other countries now look to us as a model....It's been hugely successful. I think the communities are safer and our young people are better protected against drugs," he said on November 6, 2017.
Roque has said that, as Duterte's spokesman, his personal convictions must take a backseat.
"I speak for the President now. In this capacity, I have no personal opinions," he told Rappler back in February. (READ: Harry Roque pirouettes for Duterte)
Duterte has described Roque as someone he tapped because in the 2016 elections, he was neither for him nor against him. Roque had then supported the candidacy of former vice president Jejomar Binay.
The video, however, shows Roque openly opposing Duterte's candidacy. – 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.