MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's new spokesperson, Harry Roque, needs to make sure he has access to the chief executive to be effective in his job, a former Malacañang official said Tuesday.
Such a relationship with Duterte will help Roque "second guess" the president's mindset on issues, said Eduardo Ermita who served as spokesman and executive secretary under former president Gloria Arroyo.
"I had access to the president. I saw to it, in anticipation to the questions that might be raised, I ask the president before i present myself to the media. That is the closeness that the person should have with no less than the appointing authority," he told ANC.
Ermita said Arroyo would even allow him to bring Cabinet members to his regular briefings to better address questions from the press.
Roque, party-list lawmaker and lawyer, can answer questions from a legal and human rights standpoint.
"I thought that might be the mindset of the President when he thought of bringing in Harry Roque, since one of the major issues thrown against him is human rights violation," Ermita said.