MANILA, Philippines — 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 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.
Roque, a human rights lawyer and former presidential spokesperson, stressed that he was referring to the late president’s son, UniTeam presidential 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 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 said.
Roque said the United States did not have a ruling that Marcos Jr. violated human rights or was personally responsible for human rights violations in the Philippines.
He added that he also checked the cases decided by the Philippine Supreme Court and while Marcos Jr. was a co-administrator of his late father’s estate, “there is no case in which he himself was accused of stealing.”
Roque stressed that the presumption of innocence should be applied to all, even to sons of dictators.