Duterte endorsed Aguilar’s outstanding personality | Inquirer News

Duterte endorsed Aguilar’s outstanding personality – Panelo

He was only joking.

This time, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo was referring to himself and not to President Duterte, who had earlier asked people to vote for folk singer Freddie Aguilar.

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“Maybe what [the President] wanted is for you to vote Freddie Aguilar as an outstanding man,” Panelo had responded to Palace reporters on Tuesday, when they quoted the President as saying “Vote for Freddie Aguilar” during Monday’s opening of the Parañaque Intergrated Terminal Exchange.

Quoted verbatim

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“But I was only saying that in jest,” Panelo said in a radio interview on Wednesday, following reports quoting the President’s words verbatim.

Panelo also maintained that the President did not engage in premature campaigning when he endorsed Aguilar, saying that “there is no more concept of premature campaigning” in the country.

The Palace official cited the 2009 Supreme Court ruling on the disqualification case against former Mayor Rosalinda Penera of Santa Monica, Surigao del Norte, that said premature campaigning was no longer an offense under the automated election law.

“In the case of Penera, the [high] court said the violation of the Commission on Elections rule [on premature campaigning] will only apply during the campaign period,” Panelo said.

Appropriate time

“In other words, if it was not yet the campaign period and there was still no candidate, even if the person who supposedly commits the violation is running, he can’t be held liable. [In the case of] the endorsement [of the President], there is no violation,” he added.

President Duterte will endorse his candidates “in the appropriate time,” he added.

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Panelo said the President again expressed his admiration for Aguilar in a meeting with Cabinet members on Tuesday.

“[He] spent a little time with us, saying he [has known] Freddie Aguilar when he was still [Davao City] vice mayor,” Panelo said in the radio interview.

The President described Aguilar’s brilliance and noted that his songs had social content.

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TAGS: 2019 elections, Freddie Aguilar, Rodrigo Duterte, Salvador Panelo
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