Lawyer Harry Roque will be returning as President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson just as the Philippines is in the middle of the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Roque, known for taking the cudgels for marginalized sectors of society, first took on the job as Duterte’s spokesman in 2017.
He was representative of the Kabayan party-list group in the House of Representatives before he was tapped to become the presidential spokesman.
Roque resigned in October 2018 to run for Senator.
He later withdrew due to health reasons.
Roque, who left the post in 2018, said he will return to work on Monday afternoon. He will get the rank of Secretary.
Lawyer Salvador Panelo, who replaced Roque, will remain as Duterte’s chief legal counsel.
“Harry Roque will be back to his previous post. I’m still the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel. I will be performing the same role as the President’s chief lawyer and issuing statements as such,” Panelo said in a separate message.
Asked why the sudden changes, Panelo said “the present crisis requires a new tack in messaging.”/Stacy Ang