Duterte spoke thru alter egos

June 14, 2019
Salvador Panelo

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has not made a public statement about the sinking of a Philippine fishing boat by a Chinese vessel, but his spokesperson said yesterday he already did through his alter egos in government.

“He has already made a statement through his presidential spokesperson and chief presidential legal counsel as well as his two other alter egos, Secretary of National Defense and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs,” Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

Panelo said the statements included an expression of outrage and calls for an investigation and punishment for those responsible for the June 9 incident in the vicinity of the disputed Reed (Recto) Bank.

The Malacañang official added in a separate interview on ANC television that the President is a “very cautious man” who makes “calibrated responses” to issues.

“Depending on the incidents. When the President speaks, they are intentional to get some desired effects or sometimes as he calls it he shakes the tree for reactions,” Panelo said.

Malacañang also said the Philippines is not politicizing the incident involving a Chinese vessel that hit and sank a stationary Filipino fishing boat in the vicinity of the disputed Recto Bank on June 9.