YUL Servo, whose real name is John Marvin Nieto, is preparing to be a policeman when he met the late Director Maryo J. de los Reyes and was launched playing the title role in Lav Diaz’s “Batang Westside” in 2001. Since then, he has won many acting awards for films like “Naglalayag”, “Laman”, “Torotot” and “Brutus”. He then went into politics and became a Manila 3rd district councilor for 3 terms. He’s now on his first term as congressman.
He recently celebrated his birthday at Rex Tiri’s Limbaga 77 resto and invited the press. He proudly reported his accomplishments so far, like creating a new police precinct for his district. “Dati kasi, nasa looban ito, so inilabas namin ngayon para more accessible,” he says. “It has 5 floors at nasa tapat lang ng SM San Lazaro. Nakapagpagawa rin ako ng hospital with 6 floors, 2l4 new classrooms, 5 state of the art basketball courts sa schools and 13 courts sa deadend streets. Next project ko is a new barangay hall sa may San Sebastian church. I have 800 scholars in college and 5,000 elementary and high school students. My program is Serbisyong Walang Katulad at Naglilingkod Anumang Panahon. I’m here not just to represent sila sa Kongreso kundi para rin tulungan sila, ipagtanggol at ipaglaban sila sa kanilang mga karapatan bilang mama-mayan ng bansa.”
As he runs for his 2nd term, he’s with PDP Laban and Isko Moreno’s party, Asensadong Manileno, with their own lineup of councilors led by his own sister, Apple Nieto, who was his chief of staff for 12 years. But he won’t forget his showbiz roots and continues to act. “Acting remains to be my passion at basta maganda ang role, I will consider it,” he adds. “This March 3, mapapanood ako sa ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, playing a villain role. Kasama rin ako sa cable series na ‘Tokhang’ na contravida ang role ko.”
Doesn’t his constituents mind that he portrays bad guy roles? “No. Merong nagagalit sa character ko, but they know that I’m just playing a role. Kasi nakikita nila ako on screen na bad ako, pero sa barangay, nakikita nilang I’m doing my best for them. Sa Congress, perfect attendance ako. Ganun din sa distrito ko, nakikita nilang lagi akong present at umiikot to attend to their needs.”
What can he say to those who put malice on his friendship with Piolo Pascual? “Hindi na lang pinapansin 'yan. He’s like family to me kasi four of my five kids, ninong siya. Noong birthday niya last month, he celebrated it sa district ko and he gave away bags of canned goods with rice, ham. Napakabait na tao. Kaya 'yung mga intriga, ignore na lang. Hindi na apektado ang friendship namin.”