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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Aug 9, 2018

Meet Presidential Spokesperson Harry Lopez Roque Who's Very Showbiz & Wouldn't Mind To Be Part Of Coco Martin's 'Ang Probinsyano'

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON Harry Lopez Roque meets the entertainmnent press and the first question he gets is what is his reaction to PCOO Asst. Sec. Mocha Uson’s ridiculous ipepe-idede-pederalismo video she did with a blogger that she obviously thought would be a hit but turned out something most people found execrable and vulgar.

“I will not judge her kasi it’s the head of PCOO, Martin Andanar, who should make such decisions,” he says. “But I think she had the best of intentions, which is gusto niya talagang mapag-usapan ng mga tao ang tungkol sa pederalismo. Kaya lang, kapag siguro usaping pederalismo, dapat siguro mas seryoso ang treatment dahil ito po ay Saligang Batas, ang pinakamataas na batas sa ating bayan, so I will opt for a more sober approach. If you don’t agree with her, then don’t watch the video na lang.”

Harry Roque comes from a family pastors, teachers and lawyers. He majored in economic and political science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1986, his bachelor of laws from UP in 1990 and his master of laws with merits from the London School of Economics in 1996. He was a law professor at UP for 15 years and he now misses teaching. Some of the notable cases he handled as a lawyer are the Maguindanao Massacre and the Jennifer Laude cases. In 2016, he became a congressman for Kabayan (Kabalikat ng Mamamayan) and he authored the Universal Health Care Bill. He was appointed by Pres. Duterte to be the presidential Spokesperson in October, 2017, along with being Presidential Adviser for Human Rights.

He says being spokesperson is definitely not a picnic. “Mahirap ang posisyong ito. Walang nagtagal sa predecessors ko. The longest was 8 months. It’s a tough job. I have to be with the president as often as I could. You need to know if he’s joking or serious. You have to respond to endless queries and I've become sleep deprived.”

So what has he learned about the president since he assumed his post? “That he doesn’t need a PR. He is his own PR kasi calculado niya ang pulso ng bayan. It’s me who’s learning from him, not the other way around. He’s very simple in his ways. He really wants to serve the country well. He values his family first and foremost and may soft side siya for his kids and grandchildren.”

He admits being fond of local showbiz. “I met a lot of stars in church, like Piolo Pascual, Martin Nievera and others. Yung iba, I met sa gym, like Coco Martin. I used to be overweight kasi. But through the right diet and with the help of our treadmill, from 107 kilos last year, I’m now down to 90s kilos, but I need to lose 10 more as my ideal weight is 80 kilos.”

He enjoys singing and when asked to give a sample, he sang his favorite song, “Pare Ko”. Would he like to try acting? “Kung o-offeran nila ako, I will do cartwheels to join Coco in ‘Ang Probinsyano’ right away.”

He’s married to former journalist Mylah Reyes and they met in Congress. They have two kids, Bianca, 17 years old and is now preparing to take the UPCAT, and Harrison, 16.