Palace defends Duterte’s All Saints’ Day remarks
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Saturday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks on the Catholic celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
“The President’s remarks, as described by news articles, were said in jest,” Panelo said in a statement on Saturday.
“A joke is a joke and the same does not require an explanation. Nor should it be given as a religious slight,” he added.
Earlier, Duterte poked fun of the country’s celebration of the said holidays.
“Happy All Saints’…Bakit naman…tarantado talaga itong mga Katoliko ang puta, bakit ba may All Souls’ Day at All Saints’ Day?” Duterte asked during a post-disaster command conference in Isabela.
“Hindi natin alam kung sino mga santo na ‘yun. Mga gago na iyon, mga lasenggo. Dito na lang kayo. I’ll give you a patron. Get hold of a picture of mine, iyan lagay niyo sa altar, Santo Rodrigo,” he added.
The Palace official argued that the President was only “making light of a serious situation briefing on the damage wrought by Typhoon Rosita.”
Duterte was in Isabela for a typhoon briefing after “Rosita” battered the Northern part of the country.
He noted that reporters and the mostly Catholic audience who attended the event did not seem to be offended by the President’s remarks.
“The fact that they burst into laughter, as shown by the video clips of the TV news, showed that they were not offended by what the good Bishop and a few critics perceived to be an offensive religious statement against the celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day,” he said. /ee
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