On Wednesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque dropped snide remarks about the ABS-CBN franchise while being interviewed on Tutok to Win, a segment on Wowowin, hosted by Willie Revillame. Roque’s unsolicited jokes then were bombarded with criticism by netizens on social media.
The president’s spokesperson was called to be the guest on Willie Revillame’s show to talk about the government’s plans for the country over the next few months under the Covid-19 crisis. However, the spokesperson made a joke about the ABS-CBN’s closure.
“Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, ikaw lang ang napapanood sa buong bansa,” Roque uttered jokingly to Willie.
He then joked that the host had something to do with ABS-CBN’s franchise problems.
“Alam mo duda ko, kaya ýung isa nawalan ng prangkisa, ikaw may kagagawan niyan e. Oh aminin, aminin.”
To Roque’s surprise, Revillame refused to be drawn into his attack on ABS-CBN.
“Wag na nating pag-usapan ýan. Hindi atin paguusapan ang kahit ano mang prangkisa. Ang paguusapan nati dito ay ‘yong ating hinaharap na kinabukasan.” the host said.
This isn’t Roque’s first time to offend people with his insensitivity. During a radio interview with DZRH on August 22, 2018, he addressed the speculations about the President’s health after the Duterte dropped out of the public’s sight for three days.
“Ang suhestyon ko sa kanila, magbigti na lang po silang lahat, dahil hindi po mangyayari and gusto nila,” Roque addressed those asking about Duterte.
On May 19, 2020, Roque was called out for humiliating a CNN Philippines reporter during a media briefing. Roque claimed that his statement was inaccurately reported by CNN Philippines in its report on Mass Testing that carried the headline “Up to private sector to carry out mass testing”
Roque continued to ‘correct’ the misunderstood ‘mass testing’ statement without giving the reporter, Triciah Terada, the first in line for the briefing’s question and answer with the spokesperson, a moment to speak and defend herself.
Roque cut the reporter off after scolding her by calling the next question without letting her talk. Turns out that he scolded the wrong reporter as Terada was not the writer of the article.
Netizens and journalists called out Roque for his imprudence.
— Pinky Webb (@iampinkywebb) May 19, 2020
Why does Harry Roque's berate statement against CNN Reporter Triciah Terada remind me of Trump's attitude on his racist attack on CBS Reporter Weijia Jiang?
— nyli (@averagejoevi) May 20, 2020
Triciah Terada of CNN has more integrity in her little finger than Harry Roque. My goodness, I can’t believe we’re paying taxes to allow that man to even speak, let alone breathe?
— Mots Venturina (@motsiemots) May 20, 2020
And apparently, according to sources, Triciah Terada did not even write the story that Harry Roque is making fuss about! Napagalitan pa siya! Can someone confirm this, @cnnphilippines?
If this is confirmed, then Roque is ought to issue a personal/public apology to Terada.
— SephMichaels (@mikeljosep) May 19, 2020
The spokesperson eventually acknowledged that Terada was not the writer of the article. But Roque still insisted that Terada was partly responsible for she is the news outlet’s Malacañang reporter. Roque also refused to publicly apologize to Terada.