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Bianca and Harry

"Children must not suffer the consequences of their parent’s actions."

 

One may get pissed off at the manner by which the presidential spokesperson, Atty. Harry Roque, panders to the presidency he defends with much gusto.

One may get so riled at the manner the presidential spokesman disses those who oppose the government of his boss, sometimes with an air of arrogance and with  little humility.

But one should not take Harry’s actions or demeanor against his daughter.

Bianca Roque, the daughter of Harry and Myla, a former journalist, is a BA History student at the premier state university.  She is running for the post of department representative to the student council.

Several anonymous posts in the Facebook group by students demanded that Bianca should answer for her father’s actions.

The posts chide her and ask, “Hindi man lang nahiya tumakbo anak ni Harry Roque as (student) rep?”

Another post was more cutting: “Bilang isang mag-aaral ng UP, at bilang isang taong mulat sa katotohanan ng kalagayan ng ating bansa, ano ang masasabi mo sa pinaggagagawa ng iyong ama…(na isang) tinik ng lahat ng tao sa ating bansa?”

The posts are quite unkind.  The sins (if they are so perceived) of the father should not vest upon the offspring.  It is not her fault that her father is charged with the responsibility of speaking for and defending the president of the land.

 I have had my differences with the way Harry as spokesperson takes up some issues.  We had a run-in last year when he stated that “Taiwan is a part of China,” which while being in consonance perhaps with our “One China foreign policy” was really a non sequitur insofar as the issue of an oppositionist Filipina caretaker in Taiwan was concerned. 

I even suspect that sometimes my friend Harry takes liberties at mouthing his own interpretation of what the President thinks. But that is his problem with the boss or his accountability as the presidential mouthpiece, mindful as he must be that whatever emanates from the mouth of Malacanang is deemed official government policy. 

Of late, I noticed that some media quarters have started making a fine distinction between what the “President” said, and what the “palace” said.

But Bianca the daughter must not be a victim of politics, no matter where we stand vis-à-vis Malacanang or her father’s statements.

As another UP student commented on her page: “I’m not a friend of Bianca, nor do I know her in person, pero WTF?  Kung maka-atake kayo parang siya mismo pumatay sa pamilya ninyo?  Huy, hindi si Bianca ang kalaban.”

Indeed.

**

During the last days of President Estrada’s aborted reign, I was inside that super-charged atmosphere in the palace, often asked by media to speak for the president as his political adviser.

It was as if we were holed up in a bunker, defending what was beginning to look like a hopeless enterprise.

After a walk-out ended the Senate impeachment trial of the president, throngs started to mass in Edsa, mostly upon the prodding not only of civil society sectors opposed to Estrada, but private schools as well.

The day the generals led by his Chief of Staff of the armed forces deserted their commander-in-chief to ascend the stage at Edsa, I was inside the palace.  And then I received a call from the parent of my daughter’s classmate that our kids were in the Edsa throng, having been asked by their superiors in school to join in the protest.

Fearful that mayhem might ensue with the heated atmosphere of the time, I left the palace posthaste and after asking the driver to park near De La Salle at Greenhills, I walked to Edsa, there to look for my daughter.  As their school uniform was quite distinctive, it was not that difficult to look for her.  I then asked her to leave the protest site and come with me.

Some people spotted me and thought I too was leaving Erap, just as other cabinet members had done.  I instead hustled back home, bundled my family to leave, and checked them into the safety of a hotel.

 I later went back to the palace to become part of Erap’s negotiating panel, along with then Executive Secretary, the late Edgardo J. Angara, for a last minute midnight parley with GMA’s panel, made up of retired Gen. Renato de Villa, former senator Bert Romulo and Rep. Nani Perez.

I mention this personal anecdote to stress that sometimes our professional lives and our duty to our principals can negatively affect the lives of people we love.  But they must not suffer the consequences of their parent’s actions.

Bianca and Harry Roque have different lives to chart, and while they are indubitably attached to each other by blood, Harry’s stand on issues and his pronouncements as spokesman of his principal who happens to be the president of the land, need not necessarily be the same as his daughter’s.

Topics: Bianca Roque , Harry Roque , One China foreign policy , Taiwan

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