Panelo says ordering anybody’s ambush not Duterte’s style
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been known for his hyperboles and tough-talking persona, can never order the ambush of anybody because it was not his style.
Duterte’s spokesman and legal counsel Salvador Panelo said this Wednesday as he again denied that Duterte “admitted” his involvement in the ambush of former Daanbantayan, Cebu mayor Vicente Loot, whom the President had accused of involvement in the drug trade.
“He [Duterte] can never order the ambush of anybody. That’s not his style. Kung ‘yung mga personal na kalaban niya nga hindi niya pinapaambush, lalo pa ‘yung hindi niya kalaban,” Panelo told reporters in Malacañang.
He insisted that Duterte is a “good prosecutor and a good lawyer” who knows the “consequences of whatever statement he makes.”
In a speech on Tuesday, Duterte said he ordered the ambush on Loot, a former police general and one of the five “narco generals” he named in 2016.
“General Loot. P***** in* mo. Nanalo pa ng mayor. In-ambush kita, animal ka. Buhay pa rin,” Duterte said before newly-appointed officials.
But Panelo claimed that the President’s remark was not an admission of involvement and was only a case of language “mix up.”
He said Duterte intended to say: “Inambush ka na, buhay ka pa.”
This was not the first time Panelo had to give his interpretation on Duterte’s controversial remarks, which he usually dismisses as mere jokes or taken out of context.
To determine whether Duterte is joking or not, Panelo said the public should look at the consistency of his past statements over a certain issue.
But when asked if Duterte’s remark of ordering Loot’s ambush was a case of unwarranted admission, Panelo said: “Hindi. Kayo naman, para kayong bago nang bago kay Presidente.” /je
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.