Palace on Duterte’s rant to shoot Mar for free: ‘Joke only’
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is just joking when he said he would shoot opposition senatorial candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas II “for free,” Malacañang said Thursday.
“Hindi naman threat ‘yun e. It’s…papatawa, pakuwela lang. Unang-una, hindi naman niya gagawin. Pangalawa hindi naman free ang pagbaril ng tao ngayon e, may bayad. So walang logic, pakuwela lang,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters in an interview.
During PDP-Laban’s campaign rally in Isabela province on Wednesday night, Duterte again launched a barrage of tirades against his 2016 presidential elections rival, calling him disloyal and a person without principle.
“Just because you are a namesake of a Roxas eh mahusay ka. Itong tao na ‘to walang loyalty ito. Panahon ni [President Gloria] Arroyo, nandiyan siya. Panahon ni [President Benigno] Aquino [III], nandun siya. Wala ito. Pretends to be somebody. Tao na walang prinsipyo,” the President said.
“You are nothing to me. I can even shoot you for free,” he added.
Panelo then justified Duterte’s claim, saying that it is all part of the election season and that the opposition members themselves are throwing criticisms to the administration.
“Kasama sa kampanya ‘yun. Freedom of expression ‘yun e. ‘Yung mga kabila ‘di ba bumabanat din?” he said, referring to the opposition Otso Diretso team.
In previous instances when Duterte—who is known for his hyperbole and tough-talking persona—received backlash for his controversial remarks, Panelo often resorts in defending the President’s right to crack jokes. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.