Journal Online : Roque asks media to be fair to candidates in election reporting

5 March 2022

By Journal Online

UniTeam senatorial candidate Harry Roque asked some media organizations and other detractors to stop twisting his statements on certain parts of Philippine history, such as the Marcos era and Martial Law.

Roque was reacting to the erroneous reporting of CNN Philippines and Interaksyon, which quoted him as saying there were no human rights abuses during the regime of the late President Ferdinand Marcos during a recent senatorial debate.

The inaccurate reporting is making rounds on social media, he said.

Roque, a human rights lawyer and former presidential spokesperson, stressed that he was referring to the late president’s son, UniTeam senatorial candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., as the one with no record of human rights violations during that era.

Roque said media should be fair and objective even if they do not like a senatorial candidate.

“That is what responsible journalism is all about. You don’t twist a candidate’s statement because you don’t like him and to suit your interest. You let people decide based on your accurate reporting of events,” he stressed.

Roque said the US did not have a ruling that Bongbong violated human rights in the US or was personally responsible for human rights violations in the Philippines.

“Kung anumang nangyari sa nakaraan, inisa-isa ko po ang records, wala pong kaso for human rights violations sa Amerika si Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,” Roque replied to senatorial candidate Atty. Luke Espiritu’s claim that Marcos Jr. committed human right violations during the SMNI senatorial debate.

“Inisa-isa ko rin po ang mga kaso na decided ng ating Philippine Supreme Court, totoo po, co-administrator si Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos. Wala pong kaso na siya mismo ang nagnakaw,” he added.

Roque stressed that innocent people should not be blamed and that the presumption of innocence should be applied to all, even to sons of dictators.

“Ang katotohanan po, ang pinag-uusapan, hindi po ang patay na Marcos. Ang pinag-uusapan ang buhay na Marcos. Sa akin, panagutin ang mga nagkasala, pero ang mga hindi gumawa ng kasalanan, huwag natin idamay sa sisi,” he said.

“I did my due diligence, and I am certain that there are no judicial pronouncements that Bongbong Marcos is responsible for any human rights violations. He should not be held responsible for the acts of others,” he said.

“I have again read the judicial records. There has not been an indictment against Bongbong Marcos. Second, we now have sufficient safeguards to prevent a repeat of 1972,” he said.