Amid allegations of rights abuses in his war on drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Palace spokesman Harry Roque as his adviser on human rights.
Roque himself confirmed this to reporters on Wednesday, though Malacañang is yet to release a copy of his appointment papers.
In a statement, he said he was “appointed recently as Presidential Adviser on Human Rights concurrent with my being the presidential spokesperson.”
With this new post, Roque said he would help the Duterte administration improve its record in safeguarding human rights.
“I will take steps to ensure that the Philippines discharge its obligations in protecting and promoting human rights, especially the right to life,” he added.
Before serving in Duterte’s Cabinet, Roque was a Kabayan party-list lawmaker and a human rights lawyer.
He has served as lawyer for relatives of journalists killed in the Maguindanao massacre and as counsel for the family of slain transgender woman Jennifer Laude in their case against US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton.