Presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Friday, October 5 revealed that he has been thinking if he is still capable of being President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s trusted spokesperson following his denial on the latter’s hospital visit on Tuesday.
According to reports, Duterte canceled his scheduled appearance in the turnover ceremony of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) at the Palace. Rumors were quick to spread that the reason behind his absence is that he was rushed to the hospital. It was quickly denied by Roque himself, and even noted that ‘it is not true.’
However, in an unexpected turn of events, Duterte bluntly admitted on Thursday that he indeed paid a visit to Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City to undergo several tests concerning his Barret’s esophagus, a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease. It was also reported that the chief executive has undergone endoscopy and colonoscopy.
During a media briefing on Friday, Roque himself justified that he did not lie to anyone about Duterte’s hospital visit.
“Like you, I was taken aback by the diagnostic examination. I did not lie to anyone because I simply did not know,” he said.
Duterte on Thursday alluded Roque, a possible senatorial candidate when he bluntly discouraged him from running in the 2019 senatorial poll saying that he has no chance of winning. He quickly defended the latter saying that it was just “typical Duterte” who only wants him to stay as his spokesman.
“Bigyan kita ibang trabaho. Hindi ka manalo diyan,” Duterte said, referring to his spokesperson. Roque reiterated that he will spend the weekend thinking about his options and said that he has no hard feelings unto Duterte.
“As you can see I cannot be effective as a spokesperson unless I know everything about the President. Now people think I lied. I’m telling the nation I did not. I did not know,” Roque said.
“I am inclined to believe that perhaps I am not in the position to continue with this current function.”