By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
The regular Thursday briefing with the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) took an unexpected turn when Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque was quizzed about his job by singer Martin Nievera.
Nievera’s attendance to the press briefing was not announced until before he entered the briefing room a few minutes before it went live on air. Roque explained that Nievera was there to ask him questions.
After the interview portion of the briefing, Roque allowed Nievera to take over the microphone from press briefing moderator PTV Director for Operations Rocky Ignacio.
At first, Nievera broke the ice by asking Roque what he had for breakfast. But after that question, Nievera went full serious mode when he asked the Palace official about his relationship with the MPC, and how important is the organization to him.
“Very important. The job [of Presidential Spokesperson] is because of the Malacañang Press Corps, because it is important that they deliver the message to the people–the message of the President be delivered to the people through them,” Roque responded.
Nievera then asked Roque how transparent can he be during his press briefings.
“You heard what I said. On the matter with that the Department of Finance said was confidential, I will divulge because I think the people are entitled to know it,” Roque answered, referring to an earlier question about a supposed confidential government project.
The singer then asked Roque about what would be his advice to President Duterte when he speaks.
“When he speaks? Stick with the prepared script. Although I have promised him that I will help look for better speech writers who will actually write speeches that he will actually read,” Roque said.
Meanwhile, when asked by the MPC on what he thinks about President Duterte, Nievera responded with, “He is the best singing president of all the Presidents, thank you.”
Duterte is known to grab a microphone and sing his favorite songs “Ikaw” and You Raise Me Up” on meetings with members of the Filipino community abroad.