International review Investigation

Palace: Duterte ‘admission’ of corruption said in jest, obviously

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella claimed that Duterte’s remark about participating in corruption was done in jest. Source: PCOO/King Rodriguez, file.

This material belongs to: Phil Star.

President Rodrigo Duterte was just joking when he admitted to having committed corruption, Malacañang said Tuesday as it chided Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV for taking the statement seriously.
During the 140th anniversary of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association Inc. last June 29, Duterte said he hates corruption but had no pretensions of being clean.
“I hate corruption. Hindi ako nagmamakalinis, marami rin akong nanakaw pero naubos na, so wala na (I do not pretend to be clean. I also stole a lot but they have been exhausted),” the president said, apparently in jest.
Trillanes said the president’s statement confirmed his corruption allegations against Duterte.
He said the Office of the Ombudsman should probe the “admission” of the president, whom he accused of hiring ghost employees and amassing undeclared wealth.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella claimed that Duterte’s remark was done in jest.
“I think the senator seems to lack a sense of humor regarding that. It was said in jest, obviously,” Abella said.
Duterte is known for making remarks that are later explained by his subordinates and spokespersons as jokes, hyperbole or just expressions of his frustration.
A supposed rape joke in May earned Duterte criticism but he later said that he was not joking when he told soldiers in Iligan city that: “Trabaho lang kayo. Ako na bahala. Ako na magpakulong sa inyo. Pag naka-rape ka ng tatlo, aminin ko na akin ‘yun. (Just work, I’ll take care of it. I will be the one to imprison you. If you have committed rape three times, I’ll take responsibility for it.)”
He said later that he was instead being sarcastic.

Duterte: Trillanes is hopeless

During the tenth anniversary of the listing of Phoenix Petroleum yesterday, Duterte described Trillanes as “hopeless.”
He also chided broadcast giant ABS-CBN and broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer for believing what he described as “garbage” allegations of the senator against him.
Trillanes filed a plunder case against Duterte before the Ombudsman a few days before the 2016 presidential elections. He has also accused the president of not declaring P2.4 billion ($47.4 mln.) in his bank accounts.
Duterte has denied Trillanes’ accusations and even vowed to step down if the senator could prove that he has even just a quarter of the amount.