MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday denied there was discrimination against women who are seeking government posts after President Rodrigo Duterte said he won't pick a woman for a crucial position.
“Hindi naman po siguro discrimination ‘yan, but as I said tatanungin ko ang intention ni Presidente,” Roque said of Duterte’s statement.
“Wala namang diskriminasyon sa kababaihan. Kahit sino pwedeng ma-apoint sa ating gobyerno.”
(That’s not discrimination, but as I said, I will ask the President about this. Anyone has the chance to be appointed to the government.)
Duterte reaped criticism anew over his response to questions on his preference for the next Ombudsman and Chief Justice.
Asked who he will appoint as the next Ombudsman, Duterte told reporters, "I will have to consult everybody. I will have to even consult the Ombudsman people, not [Conchita Carpio] Morales, and marami, para sigurado...yung gusto ng tao.”
A reporter then asked about the replacement for ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Roque, who was behind the president, then whispered to Duterte that it is the JBC which submits nominees for these posts to the President.
Duterte then answered: “Mag-nominate sila pero I choose, gusto ko yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course, it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae."
(JBC will nominate, but I will choose. I want someone who is admired for his integrity. Of course, it could not be a politician, especially not a woman.)
The interview was cut short by his aides.
Duterte had appointed women to his Cabinet, including former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo, former environment secretary Gina Lopez, former tourism secretary Wanda Teo, and former housing secretary Vice President Leni Robredo.
Among the women in Duterte’s current Cabinet are acting social secretary Virginia Orogo and tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.