Roque signed statement urging amnesty for Trillanes, other mutineers in 2010

Proof of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s pirouettes keeps coming out of the woodwork. 

A statement published on page A4 of Philippine Daily Inquirer on September 16, 2010 shows Roque as among the 84 signatories of a petition calling for then-president Benigno Aquino III to grant amnesty to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and other mutineers. 

The statement, also mentioned during a sponsorship speech by then Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona in December 2010, insisted that the soldiers already “suffered the consequences of their actions” and “paid their dues.”

“We believe it is the time for them to rebuild their lives, and in the process, contribute to rebuilding this nation,” the statement read.

“We believe that GRANTING AMNESTY to these soldiers is not only acceptable, but also timely in view of the Government's agenda of peace and reconciliation,” it added. 

STATEMENT. The statement is signed by many individuals, including then human rights lawyer Harry Roque.

Photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer archives

Roque, who was a human rights lawyer then, represented the Concerned Citizen Movement in the statement. 

Aside from him, the other signatories were former president Joseph Estrada, former Senate Presidents Jovito Salonga and Ernesto Maceda, former Chief Justice Renato Puno, former House Speaker Jose De Venecia, religious leaders, members of the academe, and civil society organizations.

The document is included in a string of posts that showed Roque’s past posturings are a stark contrast from his current statements and actions as part of the Duterte administration. 

Aside from a blog post where he praised Trillanes, a video was also resurrected which features Roque telling people not to vote then Davao City mayor Duterte for president. (WATCH: Roque told people not to vote for 'self-professed murderer' Duterte)  

"Please, I want you to go out and not just vote against him but convince your neighbors and friends that because the right to life is the most important of them all, please do not vote for this murderer, this self-professed murderer," he told the audience of a forum about Ferdinand Marcos' Martial Law.  

Former colleagues have called out Roque for supporting the actions of an administration that directly go against his supposed ideals as a human rights lawyer. 

However, in a previous interview with Rappler, Roque said his personal convictions must take a backseat as he takes on the role of presidential spokesperson. (READ: Harry Roque pirouettes for Duterte)

"I speak for the President now. In this capacity, I have no personal opinions," he said. – Rappler.com

Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.

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