Duterte on Ka Freddie’s Senate bid: He’s smart, can speak English
SAN JOSE DEL MONTE CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte defended on Thursday his endorsement of the Senate candidacy of folk singer Freddie Aguilar, who he described as smart and can speak English.
Aguilar, running as an independent candidate, was present during the campaign sortie of Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) here as a guest candidate, but was not mentioned during the President’s speech after he left the event.
“I forgot because you know, nawala siya eh (he was suddenly gone). And I think, I was not able to hear the whispers at the back that I have yet to mention his name,” Duterte told reporters shortly after the campaign rally.
“Alam mo ang gusto ko kay Freddie ganito, ang hindi alam ng Pilipino is that Freddie Aguilar is a brilliant man. He does not talk in English because talagang sinasadya niya. He’s a nationalist,” he said.
(This is what I like about Freddie. What Filipinos do not know is Freddie Aguilar is a brilliant man. He does not talk in English because he intends not to. He’s a nationalist.)
Further defending the folk singer, Duterte also said that “there is always a message” to Filipinos in all of Aguilar’s songs.
“He’s smart. He can talk in English. Kung sabihin lang ninyo na kumakanta nagta-Tagalog. Talagang nag-i-English siya,” the President said.
(There is no song that Freddie wasted. He’s smart. He can talk in English. He just sings in Tagalog. He really speaks in English.)
“I knew him since 25 years ago… and he’s always been a friend,” he also said.
During the campaign sortie, Aguilar sang some of his trademark songs and said he wants to push for the establishment of a jury system that will be composed of several individuals who will be fair to the rich and poor. / gsg
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