‘No malice’: Duterte trying to touch housemaid? He’s just being playful – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday defended President Rodrigo Duterte from those who called him out over a viral video showing him trying to touch his house helper who brought him a cake on his birthday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing that the President’s action had no malice as it was just a display of Duterte’s sense of humor.
In a video circulating on social media, the President can be seen blowing a candle on top of a cup of rice. As a woman approached him seconds later while holding a small cake, Duterte seemingly attempted to touch her lower body, prompting her to quickly move away from the President’s hand.
WATCH: Duterte's "simple birthday celebration" in Davao City. pic.twitter.com/BZ1gp7glvo
— iMPACT Leadership (@iMPACTPH2019) March 28, 2021
“Now, ‘yung sinasabi mong panghihipo eh matagal na niyang kasambahay ‘yun. Alam mo naman talagang palabiro ang Presidente pero wala pong malisya ‘yun dahil nakaharap naman po si Ma’am Honeylet [Avanceña],” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing. Avanceña is Duterte’s common-law wife.
(Now what you’re saying about the supposed inappropriate touching, she has been their house helper for a long time. You know that the President is a joker but there is no malice in that because Ma’am Honeylet was there.)
“Kung may magrereklamo, dapat ‘yung kasama niya sa bahay. ‘Yun lang po iyon,” he added.
(If there is someone who should complain, it is their house helper. That’s it.)
Asked if it was wrong to call out Duterte over his action, Roque said there is nothing the President can do about those who keep on criticizing him when he was only joking around on his birthday.
“Wala pong control ang Presidente dyan lalo na doon sa dating nagpupula, expected po yan. Pero kung sasabihin ninyo na tama ba o mali ang nangyari, ang konteksto po niyan, malapit po ang relasyon ng Presidente, nakikipagbiruan sa kanyang kaarawan so wala pong masama dyan,” Roque said.
(The President has no control over those criticizing him, that’s expected. If you ask whether it was wrong or right, the context is that the President has a close relationship with them, he was only joking around on his birthday so there’s nothing wrong with that.)
“Pero kahit anong katotohanan, ‘yung mga talgang kritiko ni Presidente hindi titigil. Ganyan po talaga ‘yan, it’s not bad, it’s not wrong. That’s expected of them,” he added.
(But regardless of the truth, the President’s critics will not stop. That’s just it. It’s not bad, it’s not wrong. That’s expected of them.)
The President has received criticisms for his sexist and misogynistic pronouncements such as shooting the vagina of female rebels and rape jokes.
He also previously admitted “touching” a maid in her private part while she was asleep when he was young.
In 2018, Duterte kissed an overseas Filipino worker in South Korea during a public event.
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