Panelo likens ‘controversial’ kiss to that of a kiss to a grandchild

Published June 6, 2018, 2:29 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By MB Online

Presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo likened the President’s controversial kiss to that of a kiss to a grandchild.

Presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo (Manila Bulletin file photo)
Presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo (Manila Bulletin file photo)

“She did it. It was just a smack… You know my wife said it’s just like kissing an “apo” (grandchild) or a son, or a daughter or a baby. Wala naman ‘yun e.” Panelo said during an interview on ANC’s show Matters of Fact on Wednesday.

In fact, Panelo said that what happened in South Korea (with the kissing incident) shouldn’t be something that we should all make a big deal about.

“If I were the husband, I would not mind my wife planting a kiss on Duterte if she (was) really a fan of the President. That’s nothing. We’re putting malice (on it) kasi. That’s why he explained yesterday if it was malice (malicious) e bakit ko naman gagawin in public,” Panelo explained.

Interviewed by the news program’s host Christian Esguerra, Panelo kept on insisting that there was really no “malice” to the kiss that has caused a firestorm in social media and even grabbed much attention from the international media.

“The kiss was, to my mind, an endearing kiss coming from a fan who was so tickled pink when she had the opportunity,” Panelo said describing the moment for those who weren’t present in the event.

Esguerra during the course of the interview however ,asked “But did she want to kiss the President on the lips?”

The host explained that the situation before the kiss was that Duterte was about to give a book on corruption to select OFWs. Two women were called on stage and the host said that apparently Duterte “liked her” and what happened next is basically caught on a video that has been circulating on the Internet ever since it happened.

Duterte has since gone public, explaining the incident and even shooting back at his critics “Inggit lang yang mga yan!” (They’re all just envious).

Panelo defended the President by saying that it wasn’t Duterte who wanted to kiss the Filipina worker but it was actually the other way around.

“Women who are adoring fans would certainly like to kiss the President,” he said.

The host asked though if it was actually “appropriate for the President to be doing such gestures given the fact that he is the head of state.”

Esguerra emphasized that the woman was married, she was of legal age, and a worker in South Korea.

Panelo said that he has seen such situations during the campaign period and to him it was just normal.

The presidential legal adviser said that women kiss Duterte whenever the President had such events that are open to the public. He explained that often it is actually the woman who want to kiss the President and not the other way around.

To this, Esguerra played devil’s advocate and asked “But why should we buy the argument?” To the host’s appreciation it seemed that Duterte put the woman on the spot.

Panelo responded by saying: “No, tingnan mo mabuti (look at it closely) Kasi we were there eh. Nakita namin tuwang-tuwa sya eh. (We were there we saw that she was really thrilled) Parang nahihiya pa nga s’yang humalik eh. (It seemed that she was even being shy to commit to the kiss).