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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, March 21, 2018
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with Matè Espina

Liar, liar

Rock & Refuge

This immediately comes to mind when someone mentions Presidential Spokesperson and senator-wannabe, Harry Roque.

The film, entitled “Liar, liar” stars comedian Jim Carrey who won Best Actor in a Comedy at the Golden Globe when this was shown in the late 90’s.

The story revolves around Carrey, a practicing lawyer named Fletcher Reede, who wins his cases by lying through his teeth that he embraced it even in his personal life, particularly in dealing with his son, Max.

After missing Max’s birthday, his son made a wish that his father will not be able to tell a lie even for a day. What followed next was a disastrous day after Fletcher was forced to utter the truth even if this was hurtful to colleagues and to family members.

It was one of the better Carrey movies, which, though slapstick in nature, was hilariously done that by the time the movie ends, you think you just came out of a nuthouse.

What does this have to do with Roque?

Well, apart from the similarity that both are lawyers, Roque has been recently perceived to be lying and caught oftentimes on the defensive after his opinions just a couple of years back is thrown at his face for stating the exact position now.

Of course he can always claim what he is uttering is now the position of the President, or this administration and should not be linked to his personal opinion years or months back.

To me however, this affirms that we can never trust the guy who, just years back, was among those looked upon as one human rights lawyer who stands on his principles and defender of those wrongly accused or killed.

Just two days ago, Roque was once again caught lying, or perhaps was misinformed, to say the least, claiming that the decision to put PDAF scam queen, Janet Napoles, under the Witness Protection Program had nothing to do with the Palace.

Just hours after Roque’s pronouncements that they had nothing to do with it, Napoles’ lawyers told the court that the WPP request for their client was sought after consultation and advise from Executive Sec. Salvador Medialdea and Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre.

Social media was also abuzz, sharing Roque’s public posts in 2014 in reaction to the possibility of Napoles turning state witness saying, “If she (Napoles) becomes state witness, they might as well admit all Senatongs and Tongressmen as state witness vs the opposition. Where is justice in this country? It appears that crime does pay here.”

Exactly the sentiments of many who were surprised at the turn of events in the PDAF case with many lawmakers saying the queen of scam cannot be placed under WPP since this is reserved for the least guilty while she was apparently the mastermind behind it.

Roque has made one faux pas after the other, but that is not surprising when you have a principal and other cabinet members who do or utter things without informing you.

Roque who clearly has ambitions to run for senator has turned his back against fighting for a good cause which actually made him a byword then, but apparently only for the learned and the cause-oriented groups.

He has realized that fighting for the downtrodden may not be his ticket to the Upper House, thus he shifted gears and joined the administration, getting his 30-minutes a day free publicity but at the same time, getting crucified for it as well by his former allies.

I saw Roque a couple of weeks ago at L’Fisher where he stood as witness to the wedding of Murcia Mayor Andrew Montelibano and his lovely bride.

With the Rotary convention and the Montelibano wedding at the same time, there were a lot of people milling in the lobby, but unfortunately, except for at least three guys who were seated behind us, and who were clearly not from Negros as they were talking in Tagalog, I did not see that many people asking to be photographed with him.

And boy, was I glad! I even threatened my friend who was teasing me that he will go ask Roque for a selfie that if he does it, I will forever ban him from my life.

How I wish I can be a Max for one day and ask the powers that be to make Roque tell the truth even for just a day, and maybe, just maybe, my respect for him then will return.

What has been happening of late does not anymore make me sad. It has made me angry and this is why I hope Roque can be turned into a Fletcher so that, once and for all, somebody will actually tell the people the real truth behind all these lies they have been spreading.*


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