Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman thinks Malacanang spokesperson Ernesto Abella should stop blaming media for reporting what President Rodrigo Duterte says in public because it’s just pathetic.
In a statement, Lagman said media was spot on in reporting Duterte’s allusions to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and the holocaust because these were “vivid and undeniable.”
In his arrival statement from Vietnamn early Friday morning, Duterte said: “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there is three million, there’s a three million drug addict. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have you know (pausing and pointing to himself), my victims, I would like to be, all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”
For Lagman, Abella’s claim that these were just “oblique” references and that Duterte didn’t like being compared to Hitler would not hold any water.
“There is a principle in law that when the language of the statute is clear, there is no need to construe. In the same manner, when the utterance is unmistakable, there is no justification to interpret or mitigate,” said Lagman.
“Duterte’s apologists cannot again incant that the President was ‘quoted out of context’. The defenders of Duterte maliciously demeaned media, both local and foreign, by accusing them of misreading the President’s clear statement,” said Lagman.
Here is Lagman’s advice to Duterte: “The President must avoid outlandish and provocative statements with detrimental consequences. The mouth must be the oracle of discreet and studied statements, not ill-conceived and outrageous utterances.”