Raul Sagabarria Roco was born in Naga City on October 26, 1941 to Suplicio Azuela Roco and Rosario Orlando Sagabarria.
He finished his elementary schooling at the age of 10 in Naga Parochial School, high school at the age of 14 from the Ateneo de Naga Honors Course and graduated at the age of 18 from San Beda College, Bachelor of Arts, (Magna Cum Laude) in 1960 and Bachelor of Laws in 1964 as Abbot's Awardee for over-all excellence. He was a University Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania for his Master of Comparative Law.
Senator Roco entered the public service when he became the youngest Bicolano delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was the head of the legal staff of Senator Ninoy Aquino and drafted the Study Now Pay Later Law.
He was elected in the House of Representatives from 1987 to 1992 and as congressman he provided the legal and constitutional bases for the historic Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. In 1992, he was elected Senator and was chosen Outstanding Senator by Philippine, Graphics and Pilipino Reporter. As a lawmaker, he authored numerous laws: R.A. 7192, Women in Nation Building Law; R.A. 7164, The Nursing Act; R.A. 7877, The Anti-Sexual Harassment Law; R.A. 8353, Anti-Rape Law and R.A. 8368, The Child and Family Courts Act. In political reforms, he authored bills lifting the ban on political advertisements which is Senate Bill No. 1742 and Senate Bill No. 1746; Allowing Overseas Filipino Workers to Vote. He was chairman of the following committees, committee on banks, financial institution and currencies and the committee on constitutional amendments, revision of codes and laws and elected member of the executive committee of Inter Parliamentary Union.
He was appointed Secretary of Education by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2001.
Senator Roco married Sonia Cubillo Malasarte with whom he has six children.