Roque to tap ‘millennial’ deputy spokesman

Pia Ranada

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Roque to tap ‘millennial’ deputy spokesman
The person the incoming presidential spokesman has in mind is a law school student who Roque says is 'better-looking' than him

MANILA, Philippines – Incoming Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque plans to tap a good-looking and smooth-talking “millennial” as his deputy spokesman.

“I want a millennial and I want someone better looking than me so that women will fall in love with him,” said Roque in his first ever Malacañang press briefing as spokesman on Thursday, November 2.

“I want someone who speaks better than me. I promise, the women will like the person I have in mind,” he added.

Roque admitted he has someone specific in mind but has not yet asked this person who he referred to as a “he.”

He said this person is a former student of his and is currently taking the bar. Roque was a professor at the University of the Philippines law school for 15 years teaching international law.

Former Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella did not have a deputy spokesman although his assistant, China Jocson, would read his statements to media when he was not available.

Roque said he wanted a deputy who could give press briefings to Malacañang press whenever he is away. He plans to hold regular Wednesday briefings in Marawi to better give updates from the ground.

Not reinventing wheel

As to the rest of his would-be Malacañang staff, Roque said he may retain some of Abella’s staff. Those who may be laid off will only be asked to leave after Christmas this year.

“No one will lose their jobs because it’s Christmas. We will wait until after Christmas,” said Roque. 

He said he does not want to “reinvent the wheel” and is likely to retain some staff to take advantage of their experience.

But as a Cabinet Secretary, he said he would also “need to bring in people who I can completely trust.”

Roque said it’s likely that his office, the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson (OPS), will be separated from the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

Under Abella, OPS was under the PCOO and he was given only the rank of undersecretary. There were plans to elevate Abella’s rank to secretary but this was overtaken by Roque’s appointment. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.