Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said he understands the public’s frustration over the flubs but noted that it is human to commit mistakes.
Presidential Photo/Alfred Frias
Palace on ‘Norwegia’ gaffe: To err is human but spell-check next time
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - June 18, 2018 - 2:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — While he assured that the Presidential Communications Operations Office would learn again from its mistakes, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the agency should boost its spell-checking efforts.

This was Roque's response when pressed for comment on the PCOO's latest errors. Last week, the communications office mistakenly referred to Norway as “Norwegia” and the late National Security Adviser Jose Roilo Golez as “Rogelio.”

“In my view, they are just government personnel. I hope they improve their spell-check because there is a [Microsoft] Word program that does spell-checks,” Roque said in a press briefing Monday.

Last Thursday, netizens noticed a glaring error in the communications agency’s post about Erik Forner, outgoing Norwegian ambassador to the Philippines. The PCOO referred Forner as the “representative of Norwegia.”

READNorwegia, Norwegian? PCOO exec gets flak

A day after, netizens caught another mistake by PCOO, when it referred to Roilo Golez as “Rogelio” in a tweet.

The mistakes drew fresh criticism for the agency, which was mocked online for its failure to notice the errors.

Roque said he understands the public’s frustration over the flubs but he noted that it is human to commit mistakes.

“Let he who has not erred cast the first stone,” he said.

He then assured the public that the PCOO—which has committed errors over the past years—“will learn again from this experience the same way they have learned from the experiences in the past.”

Netizens have poked fun at other flubs of PCOO under the Duterte administration.

The Philippine News Agency, which is under the PCOO, used the logo of fruit giant Dole Philippines for a story about the Department of Labor and Employment. It also mistakenly published the news agency’s old articles with editor’s notes as headlines.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar claimed at the time that the publication of the drafts was the result of a cyberattack, then never mentioned it again.

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