MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said he will no longer be posting on his social media accounts as he has turned these over to a “Palace professional” because he had “ceased to have my own identity” on assuming the post.
Here is the message Roque posted on his Facebook account on Wednesday and also shared on Twitter:
Good-bye for now!
I would like to thank everyone for being my friend on FB, Twitter and Instagram. Effective tomorrow, I turn over my social media accounts to a Palace professional who, I’m sure, would do a better job at informing you about my daily activities.
I do feel a bit melancholic since I have always personally handled my social media accounts. But since I ceased to have my own identity when I became the President’s spokesperson, I do understand the limitations now.
Farewell for now and until such time when I again personally handle my accounts, good-bye and thanks to one and all!
Reacting to his post, administration supporters following him on social media urged Roque to “defend our President” and “stay on the side of our President.”
Rihan Rousey Tamayo reminded him to “Please be loyal to Tatay Digong (President Rodrigo Duterte). We love him so much to the point na aawayin talga nmin lahat ng umaaway sa kanya (that we will really fight anyone who criticizes him).”
Dudz Potestas, meanwhile, had this theory as to why Roque will no longer handle his accounts: “Binatikos siya since una palang araw last November 6. Lakas kasi dating niya noon na lagot kanya bias media at babatohin niya. ‘Yun pala ang babatohin niya ang mga DDS (Diehard Duterte supporters). ‘Yung mga BFF niya na mainstream media ang batohin ng tinapay (He was already criticized since his first day on the job last November 6. He came off strong and said that would be tough on the biased media and would even stone them. But as it turned out, he intended to stone the DDS instead, and throw bread at his BFFs, the mainstream media).”
Roque earned the ire of Duterte supporters soon after his appointment when he said he hoped Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and the DDS would understand the importance of a free press.
Roque noted that the media even came out with exposé about the previous administration and actually steered Duterte into victory during the May elections.
“I will forever consider individuals as under my tutelage on important matters,” Roque said. “So I hope Asec Mocha will accept being a student of the spokesperson.”
Uson is known for being critical of what she calls the “biased mainstream” media on her Facebook page, especially when they report issues critical of Duterte.
RJ Nieto, the blogger behind Thinking Pinoy, was not happy with Roque’s statement, even asking Duterte not to release the spokesman’s appointment papers.
Last week, Roque gave his first international press briefing during APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Vietnam, which he posted a photo of on Instagram and Twitter.
— Harry Roque (@attyharryroque) November 12, 2017
This was followed by another international press briefing at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, which was the base of local and foreign reporters covering the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related summits.
A scene from that presscon is now his cover photo on Facebook.