Panelo clarifies Duterte remark: ‘EJK only issue being used vs admin’
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Friday came to the defense of President Rodrigo Duterte, who earlier said that his “only sin” was the extrajudicial killings in relation to the government’s war against illegal drugs.
What Duterte really meant, according to Panelo, was that the “only issue” being used against his administration is the alleged extrajudicial killings.
“Ang sinabi kasi ni Presidente: ‘Ang kasalanan ko lang ay ang extrajudicial killings.’ Ang ibig niyang sabihin, ‘ang isyu lang laban sa akin ay extrajudicial killings,’ iyon ang ibig sabihin nun,” Panelo said in an interview over dwFM.
Panelo added that the public should also consider the President’s earlier statements to understand what he really meant.
“Dapat kasi kapag sasabihin ng Presidente, titingnan mo iyong mga previous statements niya. Kailangan consistent doon sa dati na niyang sinasabi,” he said.
In a speech in Malacañang on Thursday, Duterte appeared to have admitted his involvement in the alleged summary executions in the country, an issue that has been hounding his administration since launching the government’s war on drugs.
“Ako I will talk to a political exercise now. What are your sins? Ako? Sabi ko nga sa military, ano kasalanan ko? Nagnakaw ba ako diyan ni piso? Did I prosecute somebody na pinakulong ko? Ang kasalanan ko lang, yung mga extrajudicial killing,” Duterte said.
For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the President was just being “playful” and was not even serious when he delivered the remark.
This was not the first time Duterte, who is known for his hyperbole and tough-talking persona, had contradicted his own statements. /muf
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