After the President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed the replacement of the undersecretary Ernesto Abella to Rep. Harry Roque as new presidential spokesperson, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman wants to point out that Roque cannot be a spokesperson and an adviser at the same time.

Presidential spokesman mouthpiece, not adviser of Duterte —Lagman

According to the statement by opposition lawmaker Lagman, the new spokesperson is seemingly "expanding his turf" even before he assumes his position.

Lagman said, "The presidential spokesman is the President’s alter ego after the fact, not a precursor of the fact,"

"I considered the position with the specific purpose of getting an audience with the President to address key human rights issues in the Philippines," as he added in his statement.

Lagman, however, said that Roque's plan of advising President Duterte about human rights is within the jurisdiction of the justice secretary.

Harry Roque's website stated that he is a human rights advocate and founder of the Center for International Law Manila.

In addition, Lagman said, "The role of a spokesman is to incant, elaborate or moderate the President’s pronouncements, not to mold the Chief Executive’s statements beforehand,"

"A spokesman reports the President’s statements but does not advise his principal on what to say".

"Nowhere in Executive Order No. 4 dated 10 July 2010 'Reorganizing and Renaming the Office of the Press Secretary' and previous executive issuances relative to the position of presidential spokesman is there any grant of authority to the latter to advise the President on matters," Lagman added.

Harry Roque will start his term as presidential spokesperson on November 6, after arriving from Japan on October 29 to 31.

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