MANILA, Philippines – Harry Roque has always been a master at getting himself in the news. He has a way with words and knows how to play to the camera to get his causes the media mileage they need to force national – even international – conversations.
In Jakarta in 2010, Roque championed justice for journalists slain in the world-denounced Maguindanao massacre. The law professor from the University of the Philippines College of Law won sympathies for the cause when he joined a protest rally hand-in-hand with a victim – a widow of a local journalist – whose tears during a press conference broke the hearts of human rights advocates in the region.
Roque was never afraid of presidents. He hounded Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III over various issues. Neither was he afraid of the military.
In 2014, Roque caused a commotion inside Camp Aguinaldo when he entered a restricted area and failed to stop his clients – the relatives and boyfriend of the Filipina transgender allegedly slain by a US Marine – from breaching military gates in their attempt to confront the US serviceman. The Armed Forces of the Philippines filed a disbarment case against Roque.