After 'Norwegia' gaffe, Roque hopes PCOO can boost spell-checking

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) should boost its spell-checking efforts after it faced public ridicule for referring to Norway as "Norwegia" and the late National Security Adviser Roilo Golez as "Rogelio."

"Sa akin lang, taong gobyerno lang 'yan. Sana po talaga mas pataasin pa ang kanilang spell-check dahil mayroon namang (Microsoft) Word program na spell-checker," said Roque on Monday, June 18. (In my view, they are just government staff. I hope they can improve their spell-check because there is a Microsoft Word program that does spell-checks.)

He also gave assurances that the PCOO, which was criticized over previous gaffes, will learn from its mistakes "again."

"I'm sure they will learn again from this experience in the same way they have learned from the experience of the past," said President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman.

Roque said he understands the frustration of the public over the issue, as well as the concerns of media. But he sought to dispel outrage by saying it's human to commit mistakes.

"Let he who has not erred cast the first stone. This may not be the first but, come on, let's give them [slack]," said Roque.

Netizens have poked fun at several other blunders by PCOO, its agencies, and its officials, including the use of the logo of food company Dole to refer to the Department of Labor and Employment, and the publishing of editor's notes in government media articles. (READ: 2017: A year's worth of the administration online faux pas)

PCOO Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson has also come under fire for misleading online posts. –

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at