Palace: Duterte’s ‘kidnap, torture’ remark vs COA just a ‘joke’
MALACAÑANG on Wednesday, January 9, once again defended President Rodrigo Duterte over his “joke” to kidnap and torture state auditors.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s pronouncement against the personnel of Commission on Audit (COA) should be taken lightly since the Chief Executive was “obviously cracking a joke.”
“Masyado namang obvious na nagpapatawa lang yun regarding the COA (Regarding [Duterte’s] remark on COA, it’s too obvious that he’s just joking),” the Palace official said.
Duterte, in a speech delivered in Pasay City on Tuesday, January 9, joked that “kidnapping” and “torturing” COA executives would serve as a good punishment, as they make it difficult for government offices to deliver immediate basic services to the people.
COA, a state audit agency, is tasked to promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations to prevent any irregular or excessive uses of government funds.
Prior to the President’s latest statement, he joked in September last year to push state auditors down the stairs to prevent them from giving a report on government transactions.
Panelo said Duterte only made the remark against COA personnel to taunt them because they are opposed to the government’s policy to render prompt delivery of government services.
He stressed that it was not new for the President to be “mischievous and irreverent” when it comes to his critics.
“Iyang si Presidente, pareho lang kami niyan, sutil ang tawag dun, which means pag-ayaw mo o kinokontra mo yung ginagawa namin na sa paniniwala namin hindi naman masama o illegal, eh
lalo naming gagawin para asarin o inisin yung komokontra o nag-krikritiko sa amin,” Panelo said.
(The President and I have the same style. It’s being mischievous, which
means if you don’t like our acts that could not be considered wrong or illegal, we will really taunt
or mock those who are criticizing us.)
“The more you criticize his style, the more he will stick to his mischief and irreverence. But at the same time, [Duterte] is chiding COA not to derail ongoing government projects by certain stringent protocols that go against the letter and intent of the law,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)