Palace: 'No attempt to embarrass' Duterte on upside down presidential seal

Elias Hubbard
July 17, 2017

Then Mayor Duterte said, "She was so lovely".

President Duterte's statement was not a joke, Abella stressed, saying that it was a serious statement.

"Perhaps, what he wants to say is, 'I admire you for having the guts to do that even though you're aware that you'll die for doing that.' [That was what he meant], which was sarcastic".

"It was a sarcastic statement, not a joke", the spokesperson said.

The President made the joke after the country's successful hosting of the Miss Universe beauty pageant last January with officials suggesting the possibility of again hosting the next pageant in November.

State-run media Radio-Television Malacañang (RTVM) streamed Duterte's usual lengthy, extemporaneous speech delivered late Friday and took a close shot on the presidential seal positioned at the bottom of the podium.

During a campaign rally on April 12, 2016, he talked about Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill who was kidnapped, raped and killed during a Davao City hostage taking incident in 1989.

But then he continued: "You can mess with, maybe Miss Universe.

Maybe I will even congratulate you for having the balls to rape somebody when you know you are going to die", for your crime, he said, implying the rapist would be lynched. "I thought, the mayor should have been first", he said, later telling critics that his words were not meant as a joke and refusing to apologize. In May, Duterte said that he would allow his soldiers to rape up to three women during an operation in the southern part of the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to press on with the administration's war on drugs as he assured the public that the drug trade would dwindle to its lowest point by the end of his term.

"There are those who tend to zero in on certain details but as far as the public is concerned, and they are the ones who really approved of him, they find the president as somebody who understands them, who has their common interest and common good at heart, and that's exactly why he gets high approval rating".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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