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Roque on Pardon for Pemberton: 'I Respect the Wisdom of the President'

Duterte's statements guide his official family.
by Joel Guinto
Sep 10, 2020
Photo/s: screencap from RTV Malacanang Press Briefing
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Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Thursday he would continue to be guided by President Rodrigo Duterte's policy pronouncements as a member of the official family.

Before joining the administration, the Palace mouthpiece was among prosecutors who worked for the homicide conviction of U.S. Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. The American will soon walk free after securing absolute pardon from Duterte.

Roque represented the family of Filipina transgender Jennifer Laude, whom Pemberton admitted to killing in a fit of rage at an Olongapo City motel in October 2014.

"On the Pemberton issue, I respect the wisdom of the President, which is grounded on a broader national interest," Roque said in his first statement on the pardon for Pemberton since it was announced last Monday.

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"The President and I share the same deep conviction on major policy issues affecting the country, such as charting an independent foreign policy course and zero-tolerance against corruption," he said. Rumors that he was leaving the Palace are "fake news," Roque said.

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Roque is several months into his second tour of duty as presidential spokesperson. He left the Palace in 2018 to run for senator and resumed his duties during the COVID-19 lockdown. He is also spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the pandemic.