Duterte pooh-poohs #NasaanAngPangulo hashtag: ‘Mga ugok…I was waiting for the typhoon to pass’
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte hit back at critics questioning his absence at a government briefing on Typhoon Rolly, asking if he should have stood on Manila Bay’s white sand to prove his presence.
“Kami taga-probinsya, we travel almost with regularity, bakasyon, All Souls’ Day. Kaya nga ako nauwi. Itong mga ugok naman sabi wala ako. I was waiting for the typhoon [Rolly] to pass,” Duterte explained during a televised briefing Monday night with key government officials.
(We from the province, we travel almost with regularity for vacation, All Souls’ Day. That’s why I went home. But these fools said I’m not around. I was waiting for the typhoon to pass.)
#NasaanAngPangulo topped the Twitter trending topics in the Philippines after Duterte’s absence at the Sunday briefing on erstwhile Super Typhoon Rolly.
In defense, Malacañang said Duterte was monitoring the typhoon’s developments from his hometown in Davao City.
“Kami may mga patay, kailangan umuwi kami doon sa amin. Pero ngayon, nandito na ako…So what’s your problem? Ang mga papeles pinadala ninyo dyan tapos pirmahan ko, ipadala ko ulit,” Duterte said.
(We have loved ones who died; that’s why we need to go home. But now, I’m here. So what’s your problem? The papers were sent. I signed it and sent it back.)
“Do you want me to stand doon sa white sand ni [Environment Secretary] Roy Cimatu just to see that I am here?” he added, referring to the beautification project in Manila Bay.
(Do you want me to stand on Roy Cimatu’s white sand just to see that I am here?)
Last week, Duterte visited his parents’ grave in Davao City before all private and public cemeteries were ordered closed from October 29 to November 4 to prevent people from crowding in light of the pandemic. [ac]
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