Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said a person will know when President Duterte is just making a joke if he will just use his common sense.
Panelo made the statement after Duterte was criticized for calling those who believed his promise to ride the jet ski to the Spratlys “stupid.”
In an interview with ANC Wednesday, May 12, Panelo said the President was not referring to those who voted for him.
“When he said those who believed in him were stupid, I think he was referring to certain critics who would like to twist facts and circumstances and jokes,” he said.
“He was not referring to the majority of the Filipino people who I’m very sure knew that he was only dramatizing a circumstance,” he added.
The Palace official said that one would know that Duterte is only joking if they use their common sense.
“By using one’s common sense, he would know when a person is giving jokes or not or if one is serious or not,” he said.
According to Panelo, the President only mentioned the jet ski comment to emphasize that he will not surrender the country’s sovereignty.
“He said that to dramatize the fact that he will not allow China to assault the sovereignty of this country. I think that was clear enough. For me, that was very clear during the campaign,” he said.
“That doesn’t prevent the President from giving jokes. He’s a human being. He’s a man of humor. He has a sense of humor,” he added.
President Duterte’s jet ski comment resurfaced after saying last week that he never mentioned the West Philippine Sea issue during the 2016 presidential campaign because it was a sensitive topic.
On Monday, Duterte reiterated that his jet ski comment was just a joke.