Roque in hospital for COVID-19 treatment

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 10, 2021   •   855

 

MANILA, Philippines—Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. on Saturday (April 10) announced he is currently admitted in a hospital for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment.

“This is to say that COVID-19 is more transmissible now so we have to do extra precaution,” he said.

Roque, meanwhile, also reiterated he will announce the risk classification of the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble on Saturday after the discussion with the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

He also said  that President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his public address on Monday (April 12).

The Palace official requested prayers for all COVID-19 patients in the country. AAC

‘We’re fine’: Roque says after Locsin’s ‘drop the subject’ tweet

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday said he is still on good terms with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. after the latter called out his recent remarks on the Julian Felipe Reef.

“I have talked to SFA (Secretary of Foreign Affairs) and we are fine,” Roque said in a message when asked for a reaction on Locsin’s comments.

The DFA chief earlier insisted that he was the only one who can speak when it comes to foreign affairs.

“This is my last warning. When it comes to foreign affairs, the Department of Foreign Affairs has the exclusive remit. I don’t come from diplomacy; I come from a life that settled the hash of a lotta people who talked tough and ended up biting dirt. I don’t talk, I deal,” he tweeted.

He also urged his fellow government officials to lay off the issue on the West Philippine Sea and leave it to his department.

“What can we do? Let’s try this: drop the subject and leave it entirely to the Department of Foreign Affairs under ME, the only expert on the subject bar none. I’ve known China since 1967; Chito Sta. Romana along with me. Even the military has nothing to do with foreign affairs,” he said.

Locsin made the comment after Roque claimed on Tuesday that the Philippines was “never in possession” of the Julian Felipe Reef, where Chinese vessels were spotted since March.

“All we’re saying is we were never in possession of that area and we’re making a big thing out of the fact that that area naman in the first place was never under our possession… ni hindi po iyan kabahagi ng ating EEZ (exclusive economic zone) iyong Julian Felipe. Labas po iyan, ganiyan po kalayo iyan,” he said during his regular press briefing.

In a statement he issued later, Roque stressed that the Philippines will not abandon its claims on the Julian Felipe Reef.

“Pero it doesn’t weaken anything kasi hindi naman natin gini-give-up iyong claim natin to Julian Felipe pursuant to Marcos appending Julian Felipe into the territory of the Philippines. That is our evidence of effective occupation,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte won’t debate with Carpio; taps spox Roque for face-off on WPS issue

Robie de Guzman   •   May 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will not face retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio in a debate on the issues about the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the chief executive made the decision after several Cabinet members and two senators advised him not to square off with Carpio as this might compromise national policies and confidential information.

Roque, a lawyer, said the president has delegated to him the task of debating with Carpio on the issue.

“Ang sabi po ni Presidente, kung papayag si Antonio Carpio, tuloy ang debate dahil importante naman na marinig ang mga ideya para ang mga taong bayan ay makagawa ng konklusyon,” Roque said in an announcement over state-run PTV.

“Ang sabi po ni President, itinatalaga niya po ang inyong abang lingkod na makipag-debate kay retired justice Antonio Carpio,” he added.

 Roque said he has accepted Duterte’s directive.

“Sabihin lang po ng Philippine Bar Association kung saan at kailan ang debate at sisipot po tayo roon,” he said.

Duterte on Wednesday dared Carpio to go on a debate on the West Philippine Sea issue. He said he would ask Carpio on who ordered the Philippine Navy to retreat from the area during the 2012 standoff; what the administration of then President Benigno Aquino did about it; and if they enforced the ruling when they filed and won the case.

Carpio accepted Duterte’s dare but he denied involvement in the issue of China’s occupation of some areas in the contested waters.

“Totoo po hinamon po ni Presidente si justice Carpio sa isang debate pero ang pagdedebate po ay dalawang bagay, di ba po? Sino ba ang responsable sa pagkawala ng Scarborough Shoal?” Roque said.

“Ang subject matter po ng debate ay sino at anong administrasyon ang naging dahilan kung kailan nawala sa Pilipinas ang possession sa Scarborough Shoal,” he further stated.

Roque also said that he would also ask Carpio during the debate on who was responsible and under what administration did the Philippines lost possession of the Mischief Reef.

“Retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, it would be a pleasure to debate against you. I’ll see you at the designated time and place,” he said, addressing Carpio.

Emergence of community pantries exemplifies bayanihan spirit amid crisis — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The emergence of community pantries “exemplifies the Filipino bayanihan spirit” and is not a condemnation of the government during this challenging time of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Malacañang said Monday.

“It shows the best of the Filipino. It is part of our psyche to help one another. I don’t see it as a condemnation of the government,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing.

“It shows the best of us during the worst of times,” he added.

Roque made the statement after some lawmakers remarked that the establishment of community pantries and other similar activities offering aid to those in need is brought about by the government’s failure to provide enough assistance to families heavily affected by the pandemic.

Roque, however, insisted that the popping up of community pantries in various areas only shows the Filipinos’ unity and initiative to help those in need.

“This shows na bayanihan ang umiiral, hindi bangayan,” he said.

In an earlier statement, Roque stressed that the government needs the support and cooperation of everyone to defeat the coronavirus pandemic.

He also assured that the government is working to provide for the needs of the most affected families.

“The social amelioration programs and services of the national government serve as subsidy for the provision of basic necessities and tool for the recovery and rehabilitation of the most affected families and individuals,” he said.

“The medium and long-term solution remains safeguarding the physical safety of our people while ensuring the economic health of the nation. Ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay,” he added.

He also reminded the public to continue observing health protocols to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

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