Panelo now Duterte’s spokesperson

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo returned as President Rodrigo Duterte’s Palace spokesperson, as announced today, October 12.
Panelo now Duterte’s spokesperson

Panelo now Duterte’s spokesperson
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo was named as Presidential Spokesperson by SAP Bong Go | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Salvador Panelo

The announcement was made Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go while he and the President are in Bali, Indonesia. Go said the appointment was effectively immediately, meaning as of today, Thursday. Duterte’s special assistant tried to keep his words at a minimum saying, “For now, the President said that Secretary Panelo will be concurrent presidential legal counsel, at the same time, spokesperson.”

When asked about the appointment implication to the Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Go answered, “Roque is on leave. He is still weighing his options. No one was fired.”

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo confirmed the appointment and said that he had always been Duterte’s spokesperson. He said, “Actually wala namang pagbabago kasi Day 1 of the presidential campaign of the president I was already his spokesperson, and Day 1 when he assumed presidency I was also his spokesperson."

Roque not yet informed

Meanwhile, Harry Roque, who is currently in China commented that he was “not yet informed” if he was already replaced.

He, however, made clear that he was only on leave and did not step down from his post. Roque said, “Let’s wait for next week. People: I have not resigned.”

The brewing tension between Roque and the Duterte began when the spokesperson quashed rumors that the President missed an appearance to visit Cardinal Santos Medical Center for n endoscopy and colonoscopy.

On the same day, Duterte himself confirmed that the had visited the hospital for several medical lab tests and tested negative for cancer.

Roque, feeling out of sight, commented that he would not be an effective spokesperson if he is not made aware of the Duterte’s whereabouts. He later on added that he is mulling resigning and running for senator. Duterte discouraged Roque to run for the senatorial elections saying that the military doesn’t like.

The President also answered Roque’s threat to resign saying, “I said, go ahead. Then immediately I chose a replacement.”

— Sally, The Summit Express

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