‘Leave it at that’: Palace won’t name ‘mayor’ Duterte hit for inefficient aid distribution, ‘bikini’ photos
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday refused to identify the mayor who became the target of President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades in his recent public address, with presidential spokesperson Harry Roque saying giving such details cannot add to what the Chief Executive already said.
Roque added that “I am only a spokesperson” so if Duterte does not want to disclose the identity of the local chief executive and which local government unit (LGU) the individual belongs, “so be it.”
In his taped speech aired late Monday, Duterte said he will strip off the power to distribute cash aid from a certain Metro Manila LGU due to its supposed inefficiency.
Duterte also derided this mayor, whom he did not name, for having photos while wearing a “bikini” online.
“Wala pong pangalan at walang pangalan ng siyudad na nabanggit ang ating Presidente. Bilang tagapagsalita, I cannot add doon sa hindi inilabas ng ating pangulo. Meron po siyang dahilan kung bakit hindi nya siguro inilabas yun pero hindi ko po alam kung bakit,” Roque said in a press briefing.
(No name nor name of the city was mentioned by the President. As a spokesperson, I cannot add to what the President said. He might have a reason for not mentioning the name, but I don’t know why.)
“So I will have to leave it at that. I am only a spokesperson. If the principal did not want to reveal kung sino ‘yung mayor na iyon at ano ‘yung LGU na ‘yun, so be it. Let’s leave it at that,” he added.
(So I will have to leave it at that. I am only a spokesperson. If the principal did not want to reveal who the mayor and LGU he was pertaining to, so be it. Let’s leave it at that.)
While no names were mentioned, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Moreno is the only Metro Manila chief executive who has a past of portraying sexy roles as a former actor.
Following Duterte’s criticism on the aid distribution of a certain city, Moreno shared a certificate of recognition given to Manila City by the Department of Interior and Local Government for “efficient and timely completion of the distribution of ayuda.”
Asked if Duterte was pertaining to Moreno, Roque said: “Hindi ko po alam kung bakit mo nilalabas ang pangalan ni Isko Moreno. Dahil hindi ko po alam kung siya yung nagkapost don, hindi ko po alam. I have no information.”
(I don’t know why you are putting out the name of Isko Moreno. I don’t know if he has such a post, I don’t know. I have no information.)
Roque was further asked if there was a “double standard,” given that Duterte appointed Overseas Workers Welfare Administration Deputy Administrator Mocha Uson, a former sexy dancer, in government posts.
To this, Roque said: “Ang ini-issue lang niya is ano ang moral ascendancy nitong taong ‘to para mamuno ‘no. Si Mocha Uson, well, na-appoint po iyan pero hindi ko naman po alam kung ano talaga nakaraan ni Mocha Uson ‘no sa totoo lang po ‘no.”
(He took the issue of the moral ascendancy of this person to lead. Mocha Uson was appointed, but I do not know what Mocha Uson’s background is, to be honest.)
“Pero iyong konteksto po ng sinasabi ni Presidente kagabi, ang narinig ko lang naman po is ito ba ang gusto ninyo. So iyon lang po, it’s a question, it’s a bending question to the sambayanan,” he went on.
(But in the context of what the President was saying last night, what I heard was he asked if this is what the people want. That’s it. It’s a question, it’s a bending question to the people.)
Pressed if the President, who has long been criticized for his sexist remarks, has the “moral ascendency” to call out the unnamed mayor for the sexy photos, Roque said: “Ewan ko po ‘no pero wala pong ganoong mga larawan ang Presidente. Let’s leave it at that.”
(I don’t know, but the President does not have photos as such. Let’s leave it at that.)
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