OPPOSITION lawmaker Edcel Lagman slammed Representative Harry Roque following the latter's statement that he accepted the presidential spokesman post to advise President Rodrigo Duterte on human rights issues.
Roque said in a statement on Saturday, October 28, that he agreed to be Duterte’s spokesman so he can directly talk to the President about key human rights issues.
Lagman said on Sunday, October 29, that a spokesperson does not have the authority to advise the President and that a spokesman only reports the President’s statements and does not advise his principal on what to say.
"One cannot be a spokesman and an adviser at the same time because an advice may not be heeded, and such rejection or contrary opinion of the President must be articulated by the spokesman," he said.
Lagman added that nowhere in Executive Order No. 4 and the other previous executive issuances relative to the post is there any grant of authority to the spokesman to advise the President on matters other than the messaging system and communication strategy.
Duterte announced on Friday that Roque, a well-known human rights lawyer, will be appointed as presidential spokesperson.
Roque, Representative of the Kabayan Party-list in the Congress, earlier said he is not condoning the government's bloody war on drugs by joining the administration and maintained that he remains a staunch supporter of human rights. (SunStar Philippines)