Ping Lacson: 'Digong never pretended to be somebody else, he's just being himself'

President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Senator Ping Lacson / composite photo from Inquirer

Manila, Philippines – Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said on Tuesday that Filipinos should accept President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for who he really is.

Lacson’s comment came following the chief executive’s latest joke where he claimed that he used marijuana to keep himself awake, citing his very hectic schedule in the office.

'Accept him for who he is'

The senator noted that Duterte never pretended to be somebody else during the presidential campaign period but majority of the people still voted for him and he was elected President.

Lacson added that people should live how the president conducts himself.

“He is really like that, he never stops joking,” said Lacson.

“He was like that during the campaign, he was voted, we are in a democracy. He never pretended (to be somebody else) during the campaign but he was elected (as President anyway),” he added.

Duterte won the 2016 presidential poll via landslide; he had 16.6 million votes - a very far stats against second placer and the previous administration’s bet Mar Roxas, who only got 9.9 million votes.

Lacson pointed out that since the president was elected by majority of the Filipino voters, everybody comes to terms with his ways.

“We will have to live with whatever he is for the next four years or so,” the senator added.

'No longer surprised'

Even Duterte’s former presidential rival, Senator Grace Poe, said that she has already gotten used to Duterte’s explosive jokes.

“I don’t know why others would be surprised. I wasn’t surprised, not because I thought that he did that. But you know, the President has said so many explosive things,” Poe said.*

Poe also gave the president a credit for immediately clarifying his statement on marijuana but said that it might have an adverse effect.

“If you are the President of the country, whatever you say, right or wrong, will be magnified,” the lady senator pointed out.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, on the other hand, said that Duterte is entitled to make jokes even if he is the country’s chief executive and that his pronouncements somehow have an impact on national policy.

“Everybody is entitled to a joke,” Panelo told reporters at a Palace briefing.

“He does it because usually events are boring… First, marijuana is not a stimulant to make you awake. It’s the opposite, so obviously there was no logic there, so he was joking.” The spokesman added

He also stressed that “One joke does not make him a bad leader,” 

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo / photo from Google (ctto)

Source: Daily Tribune

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