No dis­crim­i­na­tion against women – Palace

Manila Bulletin - - National News - By GENALYN D. KABILING

Mala­cañang has as­sured there is no dis­crim­i­na­tion against women work­ing in gov­ern­ment in a bid to down­play con­cerns about Pres­i­dent Duterte’s lat­est anti-women re­mark.

The Pres­i­dent re­cently claimed he was op­posed to ap­point­ing a woman when asked by re­porters about his choice for the next Chief Jus­tice fol­low­ing the ouster of Maria Lour­des Sereno.

“Unang-unang, I will clar­ify kung sin­abi ta­laga ng Pres­i­dente yun (First, I will clar­ify if the Pres­i­dent re­ally said that),” Pres­i­den­tial Spokesman Harry Roque said dur­ing a Palace press brief­ing.

“Pero sa ak­ing pagkakaalam po wala na­man pong diskrim­i­nasyon against sa kababai­han. Kahit sino po pwe­deng maap­point sa at­ing gob­y­erno (But to my knowl­edge, there is no dis­crim­i­na­tion against women. Any­one can be ap­pointed in gov­ern­ment),” he added.

Roque made the state­ment amid the confusion if the Pres­i­dent was op­posed to ap­point­ing a woman Chief Jus­tice or Om­buds­man dur­ing a re­cent me­dia in­ter­view.

The Pres­i­dent re­cently bared the qual­i­ties of the next Chief Jus­tice af­ter Sereno’s ap­point­ment was nul­li­fied by the Supreme Court through a quo war­ranto pe­ti­tion.

“Gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa in­tegrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician lalo na hindi babae. (Of course, it could not be politician es­pe­cially not a woman,” Duterte had told re­porters in the Palace last Wed­nes­day.

Roque, how­ever clar­i­fied that the Pres­i­dent ap­peared to be re­fer­ring to the next Om­buds­man dur­ing the me­dia in­ter­view.

None­the­less, Roque said the Pres­i­dent’s choices for the next Om­buds­man will come from the short­list of nom­i­nees that will be sub­mit­ted by the Ju­di­cial and Bar Coun­cil.

“They are 10 (nom­i­nees). May the best man or woman pre­vail,” he said, when asked if La­bor Sec­re­tary Sil­vestre Bello III will be the Pres­i­dent's pick as the next Om­buds­man.

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