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VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Harry Roque backtracks on supporting Marcos

Lawyer Harry Roque said he was ‘”scammed” into believing that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. would use his “second chance” at Malacanang to redeem his family’s reputation.

Harry Roque 2024-02-25 Flip-flop

Roque, who ran for senator under Marcos’ UniTeam ticket with Sara Duterte, supported and endorsed his presidential bid in 2022 in multiple speeches and interviews.

Lamenting the “politicking” of top officials in President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration, lawyer Harry Roque prayed for forgiveness for having been “scammed” into believing that Marcos would use his family’s “second chance” in Malacañang to redeem their tarnished reputation after his father was toppled in 1986.

This is a turnaround from Roque’s statements in 2022 supporting both Marcos and then-Davao City mayor Sara Duterte’s campaign for president and vice president under the UniTeam ticket.

STATEMENT

Speaking at a prayer rally on Feb. 25 in Cebu City, Roque called on the attendees to join him in a prayer to “restore unity and faith in the government” amid attempts to push a people’s initiative for Charter change.

The former spokesman of then-president Rodrigo Duterte said:

Pinagdadasal po namin ang mga nagugutom, ang mga biktima ng karahasan, ang mga biktima ng benggador na gobyerno na ngayon po’y nakaupo sa Malacañan [Palace]. Patawarin niyo po kaming nagpabudol ng isang lider [na nangakong] kapag binigyan ng pangalawang pagkakataon, gagamitin ang pagkakataon na ‘yan [na] linisin ang kanilang mga pangalan. Hindi po nangyari.”

 

(We pray for those who are hungry, for the victims of violence, and for those victims of a vindictive government sitting in power at Malacañang [Palace]. Please forgive us who allowed ourselves to be scammed by a leader, who [promised that] if given a second chance, would use that chance to redeem their family name. It did not happen.)

Source: Sonshine Media, FULL SPEECH | Atty. Harry Roque sa isinagawang prayer rally sa Cebu City, Feb. 25, 2024, watch from 8:05 to 8:25

He added that Marcos had promised to bring down the price of rice to P20 per kilogram, but noted that the staple now costs close to P60 per kilo. Roque said he was praying for Filipinos who remain poor and hungry because of the president’s unfulfilled promises.

FACT

In multiple speeches and interviews, Roque expressed his support for Marcos during the campaign in the 2022 national elections.

In an interview on DZMM TeleRadyo, Roque said he was doing so because of Marcos’ experience as a former governor of Ilocos Norte, also noting that Marcos was “not guilty of fraud and human rights violations.”

“All those decisions [made by Philippine courts] were against [Marcos’] parents, and there is even one against the sibling (Imee),” Roque said in Filipino.

VERA Files Fact Check: Harry Roque rescinds support for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. amid attempts to push a people's initiative for Charter change.

Roque was on the senatorial slate of the Marcos-Duterte UniTeam, which endorsed Marcos’ presidential bid in November 2021.

After losing in the senatorial race the following year, Roque declared that he would fulfill his promise to continue helping the Marcos-Duterte administration.

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Sources

ONE News PH, ‘Senatorial aspirant Harry Roque says…’, Dec. 2, 2021

ONE News PH, Senatorial aspirant Harry Roque maintains…, Dec. 3, 2021

Harry Roque Facebook Page, THE UNCENSORED SPOX EP 11: BAKIT SI BBM?, Feb. 23, 2022 

Harry Roque Facebook Page, Narito po ang aking sagot kung bakit si Bongbong Marcos…, Dec. 13, 2021

BusinessMirror, Roque, Cebu mayors back BBM-Sara Uniteam, Nov. 29, 2021

Inquirer.net, Roque joins ticket of Marcos-Duterte, Nov. 29, 2021

Panay News, HARRY ROQUE JOINS MARCOS-DUTERTE SENATORIAL SLATE, Nov. 29, 2021

Harry Roque Facebook Page, Maraming salamat…, May 22, 2022 

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)