Palace: Unfortunate that Gabriela can’t tell reality from rebuke

Published December 30, 2018, 7:16 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang found it unfortunate that women’s rights group Gabriela is unable to tell if President Duterte is serious or is just joking as it is blinded by its obsession to paint the President in a bad light.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after Gabriela called out Duterte for his recollection of a lewd act he supposedly did to a maid when he was still a student.

“It is unfortunate that in its zeal to promote its advocacy on the protection of women’s rights as well as in its obsession to put the President in a bad light, the women’s rights group has lost the ability of discerning a reality from a rebuke on the hypocrisy of the priests who molested him and his classmates when they were high school students,” Panelo said Sunday afternoon.

Panelo, in his statement, reduced Duterte’s story to only a “laughable anecdote” which he said the President made up to dramatize his bad experience with a priest many years ago.

“In his inimitable allegorical style of dramatizing the sexual abuse the President suffered when he was a minor, he has made up a laughable anecdote to dramatize the fact of sexual abuse that was inflicted on him and his fellow students when they were in high school,” he said.

“He purposely added and spliced the story with vulgarity to characterize the behavior of the priest who insisted to hear more sins during their confessions when there were none,” he added.

The Palace official then reiterated Duterte’s story of how he was supposedly fondled by the late Jesuit priest Fr. Mark Falvey and how the Jesuit order paid $16 million as settlement on complaints of sexual abuse against him.

“The President has evolved an unorthodox and mischievous method of exposing and criticizing the hypocritical practices of those men in religious cloak. While the telling of the concocted story triggers laughter on his audience, the message that the President intends to convey is not lost on his listeners,” Panelo said.

Despite the criticism, Panelo said Duterte will not change his style of speaking which the former claimed made the President closer to the people.

“The President will not discard his shocking and amusing out of the box utterances that have been his political signature, which has endeared him to the masses, and which he finds effective in transmitting to the nation his political and social dogmas,” he said.

On Sunday, Duterte recalled how he confessed to a priest when he was still a student about a time he tried to insert his finger in a sleeping maid’s vagina. According to Duterte, he went to the bathroom later on to pleasure himself. The priest then reportedly told Duterte to pray a number of prayers as the young Rodrigo would supposedly go to hell for what he had done.