Neil Perez stays true to cop duties

Neil Perez (MNS photo)

Neil Perez (MNS photo)

His success in national and international pageants have led to a burgeoning showbiz career but Mariano Perez Flormata Jr. a.k.a. Neil Perez says when it comes to being in front of the camera versus manning traffic as a cop, he’ll choose the latter hands-down.

“Kahit saan ako pumunta, mapa Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, basta kailangan ng tulong ko as pulis, tutulong ako,” he said.

To prove his point, the bomb and explosives technician attested to helping ease traffic situations whenever he can.

“Ginagawa ko ’yun, maraming beses na… ’pagka-alam kong (mabigat ang) traffic lumalabas ako ng sasakyan para mag-direct ng traffic,” he said.

But would the hottie take on EDSA? He said, “Pwede naman, kaso iniisip ko rin syempre (na) baka sabihin nagpapa-pogi lang ako. May gan’on po kasi (mag-isip), sasabihin (nila) nagpapakitang gilas ka lang….”

The 30-year-old hunk is bent on further improving the police force’s public image by setting an example.

“Gusto kong (lalong) mabalik ’yung tiwala ng tao sa kapulisan. Malaking bagay na ’yung tao tumutulong, nakikipag-cooperate sa kapulisan. Madali nating masusugpo ’yung krimen (pag ganon).”

Despite his popularity, Neil doesn’t want special treatment or consideration when it comes to his job as man in uniform. And darn it if he grows dark from being exposed to the sun at midnoon if that’s what’s necessary.

“Sumasabay po ako kung ano ’yung trabaho ng pulis. Sa’kin, okay lang kahit makaapekto sa itsura ko at lumabas ng hindi maganda sa TV kasi pulis ako eh,” Neil said.

He also avoids taking on bad boy roles because it might send the wrong message about his primary job as cop.

“Syempre, pangit naman kung nakikita sa TV na bad boy ako ’di ba? Tapos pulis ako, pangit tignan,” he said.

Neil is part of the series “Princess in the Palace” wherein he plays Colonel Tim.

“Na-e-enjoy ko kasi nag-workshop ako ng konti before ko kinuha ’yung teleserye. ’Pag nasa set naman po may acting coach din ako, gina-guide niya ’ko. Tinuturuan nila ’ko (umarte),” he said.

Given the country’s macho culture, not a few assume Neil is averse to interacting with gay people.

“Actually, nirerespeto ko (sila),” he said. “Sa larangan ng entertainment, nakikita ko na karamihan sa kanila ay napaka-talented.”

Is he for gay people entering the police force?

“Wala namang batas na nagbabawal para pigilan ’yung mga katulad nila pumasok sa ganitong klaseng trabaho. Kung mas matapang pa sila sa’kin, kung mas magaling pa sila sa’kin regarding sa mga trabahong pulis, bakit hindi?” (MNS)

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