MANILA– President Rodrigo Duterte was his usual fiery self when he delivered a speech Friday in his home city of Davao, but something went wrong.
Video of the speech aired live on state-run PTV-4 and the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s Facebook page showed the President giving his speech with the presidential seal on his rostrum upside down.
The gaffe occurred during the 11th Ambassador’s Tour Philippine Reception at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City.
For those who followed the broadcast, the error was observed until around the third minute of the live video, when the shot zoomed in on the President, cropping the seal out of the frame.
The circular presidential seal, adopted during the time of President Manuel Roxas, should be placed with the text “Sagisag ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas” positioned at the upper portion and the three stars at the bottom of the rim.
According to historian Manuel L. Quezon III, the presidential seal is composed of the coat of arms of the President of the Philippines, surrounded by the legend “Seal of the President of the Philippines” (“Sagisag ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas”).
"The blue circle is the shield; on the shield is a red triangle (representing liberty, equality, and fraternity, the ideals of the French and Philippine revolutions and our republic), on which is a sea lion and three stars," he said on his blog.
Only the President uses the rostrum with the Presidential seal at any event.
Duterte’s speech lasted for about an hour, in which he again tackled his war on drugs, corruption, and the ongoing siege in Marawi City.
In his speech, Duterte again stressed that it is not a crime to threaten to kill drug suspects.
“Find me a law - wherever you come from - point out to me a law in your country and in my country, which says you cannot threaten a criminal from destroying your country,” said Duterte, a former prosecutor.
“Is there a law which says you cannot do it? Is there a law which says that you cannot blurt such statements as, ‘Do not bring our children to perdition because you’ll not only lose your funds, you’ll lose your life'?" he said.
Duterte had made similar statements before, but he raised the matter again after the country’s top graft-buster, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, issued her sharpest criticism yet of the President's tough rhetoric.
The President, however, did not make a direct reference to Morales, whose nephew Mans Carpio is married to Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
In an interview with Japanese public network NHK, Morales said Duterte seems to be “goading people to kill people.”
“That's a problem. His communications people say ‘that's hyperbole.’ You know, they try to rationalize whatever he says, so whether or not the police or whoever he addresses these words, believe him. That's a different story. The directive to kill people under any situation irrespective of the context, to me, that's not acceptable.” Morales said.