PDP-Laban: Sorry for Duterte curses; Enrile: He’s like Donald Trump
He is not what he is without the expletive, but a hundred of it can be damaging.
As Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III and his party apologized for the profanities uttered by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile called the presidential candidate an “astute politician” who was in fact testing society’s “smoothness or roughness.”
At one point, Enrile even compared Duterte to the outspoken American billionaire Donald Trump, whose campaign for the Republican nomination for the US presidency had been marked by equally outrageous statements.
“On behalf of the party, I want to apologize if there was anyone who was offended. That’s the local campaign style,” Pimentel said minutes after Duterte made off-the-wall statements during the proclamation of his tandem with Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday.
“In local campaigns, the more brusque you are, the better,” said Pimentel, the PDP-Laban president.’
READ: Duterte shocks, awes
Duterte got brickbats for cursing Pope Francis for the monster traffic jams in Metro Manila during the January papal visit as well as for his admission of being a womanizer and for killing criminals.
Pimentel told reporters the party and he himself had urged Duterte to cut down on his cursing as well as lessen emphasis on stories of extrajudicial executions.
But on Monday, Pimentel said Duterte got obviously carried away. “If it’s a speech without one curse, then it will not be Mayor Duterte, but hopefully not 100 curses,” Pimentel said.
In due time, he said, Duterte will be able to make adjustments before the presidential campaign begins in February next year.
On Duterte’s cursing the Pope, he and his political party asked the people’s understanding because this was the “personality” of their presidential candidate.
“It was unfortunate that these undesirable curse words were included in the same sentence where the name of the Pope was mentioned. It was an accident no one intended or anticipated but it has happened. So we hope for your understanding and we will learn lessons from this incident,” he said.
Pimentel shrugged off Duterte’s claims of having killed criminals, noting that no case had been brought against him in the past 20 years. “So for now, we are just taking it as a colorful language, a colorful illustration of the political will of the messenger,” he said.
In his campaign, Pimentel said he expected Duterte to talk about federalism, and stopping criminality and corruption.
Enrile said Duterte was good in politics and was apparently telling people that he was not pretentious.
Duterte’s message, said Enrile, was: “I’m telling you what I am. You take me for what I am. Now, if you elect me, then, you know the kind of person I am so, you better behave and take note of what I’ve been saying.”
Enrile likened Duterte to Donald Trump, “outspoken and insulting all the people in America.”
“He’s going to the extreme situation to test, what do you call this, the smoothness or roughness of Philippine society. Normally, people who aspire for high office would become very prudent in their statements, they’re guarded. But you have a man who is telling you who he is,” he said.
“Some are angry, some are shocked, everybody is getting an impression about him,” Enrile said.
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.