Palace: Tulfo’s ‘lazy’ Filipino workers remark ‘freedom of expression’
MANILA, Philippines—Special Envoy to China Ramon Tulfo was just expressing his opinion when he called Filipino workers “inefficient and incompetent” while defending the influx of Chinese workers in the Philippines, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo pointed out in a Palace briefing that “everyone is entitled” to make an opinion “on any matter” about “the country” or “anybody.”
In a television interview Thursday, Tulfo defended the invasion of Chinese workers in the country. He said: “Alam mo bakit preferred ng mga developers, ‘yung mga Chinese worker? Masipag. ‘Yung mga Pinoy worker, mawalang galang na, ‘pag pupunta sa job site saka lang doon magpe-prepare ng kanilang tools – whereas ‘yung mga Chinese preparado na – tapos sigarilyo nang sigarilyo, salita nang salita.”
But Panelo said: “That’s freedom of expression. Everyone is entitled to make his opinion on any matter concerning the country or the people or anybody. Freedom of expression ‘yon eh.”
Labor groups demanded an apology from the former broadcaster but Tulfo refused to issue one, insisting he was just telling the “truth.”
Panelo, who is also President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel, even said Tulfo was just “restating” what developers told him about their supposed preference to hire Chinese workers.
“According to him, ‘yun ang sabi sa kanya ng mga developers. Kumbaga he’s just restating it, kinukwento niya lang ‘yung sinabi sa kanya,” the Palaceo official noted.
But when asked if Malacañang agrees with Tulfo’s remark, Panelo said: “Ang mga Pilipino talagang masisipag. In fact, ang impression sa abroad eh masisipag talaga…ang general impression talaga masisipag tayo. We are preferred by other countries.” /kga
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