Thursday, November 2, 2017

Rappler writer, Ranada burned by Spokesman Roque; "Now, you can take it literally or figuratively"

Rep. Harry Roque during his first Press Briefing in Malacanang



On Thursday, newly appointed Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque held his first press briefing where he answered questions from journalists and writers from different media houses.

One that have caught the attention of the netizens is the Rappler writer, Pia Ranada.

Ranada and Rappler has received criticism from netizens over fake news headlines. Recently, Ranada got lambasted again for her literal take on Roque’s hollow block metaphor.

During the Question and Answer part, it was Ranada who was given a chance to ask questions first. Check out the transcription below.

Pia Ranada (Rappler): Good morning, sir.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ROQUE: Hi.

Ms. Ranada: Sir, just a few questions. The President referred to you as his Secretary. So does this mean, sir, that you will — is it going to happen that you will have a separate office from the PCOO? It will be an OPS distinct from the PCOO?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ROQUE: I believe it will be an independent office. I was given a Cabinet rank.

But of course, needless to say, I will be working very closely with Secretary Andanar and the PCOO.

Ms. Ranada: All right tapos, sir, you also gave hints in previous interviews that the President may have also offered you another position. Is — could you maybe give us some details about that position?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ROQUE: I think I would rather wait until the President issues my formal appointment papers.

Ms. Ranada: Sir, can you give us a clue? Sir, is it an adviser position or…?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ROQUE: It’s just an advisory position that would not be incompatible with the Cabinet appointment.

Ms. Ranada: All right. Last question from me. Sir, in the previous days, you were giving interviews. And you mentioned, especially dun sa interview with Asec. Mocha Uson, you have threats against critics, you said that you would throw hollow blocks at them. And then you also said you wouldn’t curse but you would scream at critics. Sir, I just wanna ask, does this manner of speaking have a place in the administration given that the admin not only represents Duterte supporters, but all law-abiding citizens, regardless of political leaning?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ROQUE: Well, let me be very clear. I was addressing Mocha Uson’s 5.5 million followers.

And of course, that’s a public forum ‘no? But the message I wanted to send to the DDS was I have the back of the President covered.

Now, you can take it literally or figuratively. But what I meant was, since I believe in the free marketplace of ideas, stones hurled are welcomed, but expect to have bigger stones thrown back at you. I think that’s the nature of the free marketplace of ideas.

It is only where we have clash of ideas that we are able to discern what the truth is and what is [not?].

Ms. Ranada: But sir, do you think that, given that the government is at a powerful position compared to citizens, that this kind of language might actually create a threaten — threatening environment, which is actually going to compromise the free marketplace of ideas that you said want to espouse?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ROQUE: With all due respect, I don’t think the DDS supporters, whom I was addressing, had that in mind.

But for purposes of the mainstream media, I could assure you that my track record speaks for itself.

I am for free exchange of ideas and I welcome opposing and conflicting views, as healthy and important in the democracy.

Ms. Ranada: Thank you, sir.

So far, people seemed very satisfied with how Roque handled the questions thrown at him, no “hallow blocks” though. Media men and women seemed so tamed and relaxed during the Q&A.

Source: PCOO