DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said people must understand what President odrigo Duterte is saying and weigh whether the President’s utterances are merely jokes or serious statements.
Abella made the explanations on Monday when asked by reporters of Malacañang’s reaction to criticisms on the President’s “recent rape joke on Miss Universe.”
President Duterte’s statement was not a joke, Abella stressed, saying that it was a serious statement.
“It was a sarcastic statement, not a joke,” the spokesperson said.
President Duterte, during the 11th Ambassadors’ Tour Philippine Reception at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang here last Friday said: “Ang ayaw ko ‘yung bata. Kung pakialaman mo siguro ‘yung Ms. Universe, maybe I would even congratulate you for having the balls to rape somebody when you know that you are going to die. Pero ‘yung bata, ‘yung mag rape ka tapos you… mahirap ‘yan. I am sure that we have not reached the sophistication of the standards of the West. Why?”
President Duterte was speaking about the cases of rape and murder in the country perpetrated by people into drugs and victimized even the children.
“We do need to clarify certain statements and like I said he was quite serious about that,” Abella stressed.
He said that majority of the Filipino people especially the masses get the message of the President.
“I think we should go by that and take guidance on that. The people actually really do get him,” he pointed out.
The masses’ understanding on President Duterte is the main factor why he received high ratings during surveys, Abella added.
The latest “rape joke” of the President had drawn criticisms from various sectors, even abroad.
This is not the first time that President Duterte made such remark, he was already criticized before for openly uttering such “tall stories” in the public.
“There are those who tend to zero in on certain details but as far as the public is concerned, and they are the ones who really approved of him, they find the president as somebody who understands them, who has their common interest and common good at heart, and that’s exactly why he gets high approval rating. He gets them and they get him,” Abella said.
Abella was referring to the two recent surveys, by the Social Weather Station and the Pulse Asia that showed the high rating of the President.
Pulse Asia on Monday released the result of its June 2017 survey on the Awareness and Performance Ratings of Top National Officials.
The result said President Duterte got the highest approval of 82% compared to other top officials in the country.
The President also gained a 4-point increase in approval compared to his 78% rating during the March 2017 survey, the Pulse Asia added. (davaotoday.com)