Duterte clarifies lobby claim: ‘It’s not necessarily money’
President Rodrigo Duterte “corrected” his statement that “lobby money” was behind the rejection of Regina “Gina” Lopez as environment secretary.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Tuesday said Duterte made the clarification during the 15th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Monday.
“Sinabi lang niya na (He just said that) ‘when I said lobby it’s not necessarily money.’ Ang sinabi lang niya na lobby (He just said that lobby) is a legitimate occupation and so he simply was saying it was not necessarily financial exchange,” Abella said.
Abella added that Duterte did not elaborate his statement but the Palace official said “ I am sure his coming from a position of certainty.”
“He corrected himself and he clarified himself,” he said.
Abella said the President explained that lobbying “is a legal thing that you can actually exercise, in order to persuade one’s particular position.”
“So it was not pejorative, he was saying, in a sense, he was clarifying last night, it was not a pejorative accusation that money was exchanged,” he said.
On May 4, Duterte said “lobby money” worked in the Commission on Appointments’ (CA) rejection of the ad interim appointment of Lopez.
The claim earned the ire of several CA members, with Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson dubbing it as a “sweeping assault.” IDL/rga
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