Duterte would shrug off Tagle’s comment — Panelo

Published March 29, 2018, 4:27 PM

by iManila Developer

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte’s legal adviser said he believes that the President would take the homily of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Palm Sunday with a grain of salt.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo made the statement in an an interview over state-run Radyo Pilipinas when asked if the President already heard of Tagle’s homily where he made mention of “cocky and violent kings.”

Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo
Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo (MANILA BULLETIN)

According to Panelo, even though he has not yet met with the President this week, he thinks Duterte would not be offended by the comment of the Manila Archbishop.

“Doon mo nga makikita (There you will see) how spiritual this person is. Ang sabi niya na (He said that), ‘It doesn’t matter to me whether you are enemies or allies basta (just as long as) you want to contribute to the betterment of this country, you are welcome,,'” Panelo quoted Duterte.

“Let’s… magmahalan tayo, magkaisa tayo kasi ang sakit ng kalingkingan ay damay ng buong katawan (love each other, unite, because the smallest things would affect the entire country),” he added.

Panelo earlier expressed confidence that Tagle was not referring to President Duterte in his homily, but rather to world leaders who sow violence among their citizens.

“I’m sure he’s referring to other world leaders, not from this country. I don’t think this administration feels alluded to, or the leaders of this administration,” Panelo had said.

“I think the actions of this administration speak for themselves. We have not initiated any violence against innocent people. Police officers only respond to any assault on their lives on the process of arrest,” he explained.

“So I think [Cardinal Tagle] is referring to world leaders who are violent and cocky. Apparently not (President Duterte). It’s out of character,” he continued.

Panelo further said that Duterte is a human rights defender who is only doing his mandate of protecting the people.

“He [President Duterte] is [a] very humble person. He is [a] softhearted person who is [outraged] by any kind of assault on the person, of any person, of human rights violations,” he said.

“He is one defender of every citizens’ rights and under the Constitution, he is mandated to serve and protect the people, and he’s doing just that,” he added.

President Duterte’s relationship with the Catholic Church has been on an unpaved road following criticisms on the administration’s bloody war against illegal drugs.

But following the election of Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles as new president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) last year, the Palace thinks that the relationship between the President and the Church will start to get better as the two are friends