Roque on OFW kiss issue: ‘I thought I would die’
Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque is doing an about-face from his previous statements as he admitted Sunday that President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial kiss with an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in South Korea was “inappropriate.”
But Roque added that he believed that Mr. Duterte “intended it to be taken lightly”.
During his guesting in comedian Vice Ganda’s “Gandang Gabi Vice” aired over ABS-CBN, Roque was asked if he thinks the President has done or said anything inappropriate.
He quickly responded saying, “Meron naman siyempre. Naku, unang-una ‘yung kissing. Akala ko mamamatay ako nun. ‘Yung kissing in Korea.”
(Yes, there is. Oh, the first was the kissing. I thought I would die. The kissing in Korea.)
Roque was referring to the June incident in Seoul, South Korea, where Duterte kissed an OFW onstage during his meeting with the Filipino community there.
Duterte was heavily criticized for his gesture but Roque was then quick to defend the President, saying he found the “kiss a light moment that is very accepted in the culture of Filipinos.”
Asked why he had a different stance four months ago, Roque, Duterte’s former spokesperson, said it was his job to defend the President.
“E trabaho ko ‘yun. Trabaho ko talaga ‘yun (That’s my job. It’s really my job),” he said.
“Well naniniwala ako na kinakailangan pagsilbihan ang taong bayan at sa pamamagitan ng pagsilbi sa Presidente, at kinakailangan naman na depensahan siya kung wala naman talaga siyang masamang ginawa,” he added.
(Well, I believe that I needed to serve the people through serving the President, and I think I needed to defend the President because he didn’t actually commit anything wrong.)
He further said, “Mismong taga Hollywood pinuri ako dun, kasi sabi ko that’s his way of showing love to all the OFWs worldwide.”
(Even people in Hollywood praised me for that when I told them that’s his way of showing love to all the OFWs worldwide.)
“I believe when I am doing my job, I am doing what is right kasi wala namang mali na ginagawa ang Presidente. He’s not perfect but I believe he is the best president we can have under these conditions,” he said.
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