- Incoming presidential spokesman said comment not intended for administration foes
- He explained he was addressing president’s supporters, said remark meant to show support
- He also vowed to respect, welcome opposing views
MANILA, Philippines – Incoming presidential spokesperson Harry Roque explained the context of his ‘hollow blocks’ statement, saying it was not intended as a threat against the critics of the Duterte administration.
According to Roque, he made the remark during an interview with communications official and blogger Mocha Uson as a way of telling Duterte’s supporters he will defend the president from unfounded accusations.
“I had to do that because I had to send a message to the DDS: I was not with you from the very beginning, I did not even support the President when he was a candidate, but I had to assure them that I have the President’s back. I will not just be his mouth, I will defend him from unjust criticism,” he told ABS-CBN.
“I was addressing Mocha Uson, I was addressing the 5.5 million followers of the Mocha Uson Blog. These are the DDS. It was not really intended for anyone else other than the DDS,” Roque added.
The outgoing lawmaker added that while he respects opposing views, he also knows that people who are vocal with their beliefs should be prepared to clash with those who don’t share them.
“I assume this obligation cognizant of the free marketplace of ideas and I assume this obligation recognizing that the people do have a right to information and matters that affect them,” he said. “You can take it literally or figuratively but what I meant was since I believe in the free marketplace of ideas, stones hurled are welcome but expect to have bigger stones thrown back at you.”
Watch video of interview: