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Palace on Duterte’s ‘Undas’ remark: Actions speak louder than words!

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By Prince Golez

Malacañang dismissed as a joke the recent statement of President Rodrigo Duterte calling saints “gago” and “lasenggo.”

“The President’s remarks, as described by news articles, were said in jest,” Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

On November 1 during the situation briefing in Isabela province, Duterte questioned the celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, also saying that the Catholic faithful should instead display a picture of “Santo Rodrigo” in the altar.

“The reporters covering the event and the audience (mostly if not all, were Catholics) before whom the utterances were made knew that the President was only making light of a serious situation briefing on the damage wrought by Typhoon Rosita, and the fact that they burst into laughter (as shown by the video clips of the TV news) showed that they were not offended by what the good Bishop and a few critics perceived to be an offensive religious statement against the celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day,” Panelo said.

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David earlier asked Filipinos to pray for Duterte and called the chief executive a “very sick man.”

The Palace spokesman said Duterte’s remarks “should not be viewed beyond the description of the reporters covering the event. A joke is a joke and the same does not require an explanation. Nor should it be given as a religious slight.”

“Actions should be given more weight than the spoken words when one ascertains the true attributes of a person for certainly actions speak louder than words. The President visited his parents’ tombs in Davao City last Thursday coming straight from the Isabela situation briefing,” he added.

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