Panelo on the President’s kiss: ‘It was just like kissing an apo’
The gesture of President Rodrigo Duterte kissing a married overseas Filipino worker in public in Seoul, South Korea was “not a big deal,” his chief legal counsel said on Wednesday, a day after the Chief Executive remains unapologetic for his controversial act.
“The kiss was, to my mind, an endearing kiss,” Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday.
He cited his conversation with his wife who told him that the President’s kiss “was just like kissing an apo, a son or a daughter or a baby.”
“If I were the husband, I would not mind my wife planting a kiss to Duterte if she is really a fan of the President. That’s nothing. You are just putting malice on it,” he said.
Panelo said the Filipina “willingly” kissed the President.
“They really want to kiss the President. Women who are adoring fans of the President certainly would want to kiss the President,” he said.
“She did it willingly and excitedly. She was tickled pink. She was tickled pink,” he added.
Panelo said critics of the President were only putting “too much” on the issue.
“We are putting too much on it. It’s not a big deal,” he said.
During his arrival briefing on Tuesday night at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 2, Duterte was unapologetic over his controversial act, saying “we enjoyed it.”
“We enjoyed it. It was a showbiz and everybody enjoyed it. Asking for malice, I do not do it in public if there is malice. I would pull the woman’s — down somewhere along the empty hall there,” he said. /muf
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