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Harry Roque apologizes to De Lima for ‘out of line’ remarks on her detention center preference 

Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque on Wednesday apologized to Sen. Leila de Lima over remarks he made against her preference to be detained at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Custodial Center.

The apology was issued hours after Roque said at a press conference that De Lima wanted to be sent there after her arrest because “there are a lot of men there.”

Roque issued the comment as he scored the practice of putting arrested high-profile officials in “special detention facilities.”

“Puwede ba, tama na ‘yung proseso na ‘yung akusado pa ‘yung namimili kung saan siya ikukulong? Bakit gusto niya doon sa Armed Forces of the Philippines? Dahil puro kalalakihan doon?” Roque said, a remark that made others in the press conference laugh.

“‘Di ba gusto niya Armed Forces of the Philippines? Samantalang ‘yung separate detention for women, puro babae doon,” he added.

Hours later, Roque said he apologizes for the said remark, admitting that he “was out of line.”

“I apologize to Sen. De Lima for what I said. I was out of line. It was an ill attempt at humor that was inexcusable,” he said. 

However, he reiterated that “the powerful should not be allowed to choose where they will be detained” because it “violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution.”

Roque was one of the lawmakers criticized for the way they questioned De Lima’s former driver, Ronnie Dayan, with whom she had an affair for seven years.

His line of questioning—which included remarks like, “Napakahilig mo namang magsalat”—was investigated on by his party-list, under his estranged colleague Rep. Ron Salo.

The said faction ruled to remove him as member and representative of Kabayan party-list at the House of Representatives.

The apparent in-fighting has reached the House leadership and even the Commission on Elections, but still remains unresolved. Roque is still considered a representative. — RSJ, GMA News