MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday welcomed the move of human rights lawyer Amal Clooney to join the legal team of Rappler chief Maria Ressa.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he is not threatened and is even "excited" to debate with Clooney, whom he described as "beautiful" and "sexy."
"Palagay ko naghahanap lang sila ng katapat ko. Eh kasi pag kaming 2 nagdedebate ni Maria medyo kawawa naman kasi hindi naman siya abogado. Kailangan may abogado rin siya. Ayun, maganda pa, sexy pa," he told reporters.
(I think they were just looking for my counterpart. Because when Maria and I debate, she's at a disadvantage because she's not a lawyer. She needs a lawyer. There, she has a beautiful, sexy lawyer.)
"I’m serious, I’m very serious...Naghahanap lang ng kakampi 'yun (Ressa is just looking for an ally.) They’re welcome to defend Maria."
Panelo shrugged off the increasing attention Ressa has been earning from the international community.
"Mukhang nabola niya (Ressa) lang si Atty. Amal. Misinformed kasi si Atty. Amal, siguro kapag nagkita kami I can, to use the words of the President, 'educate her'," he said.
(It seems Ressa fooled Atty. Amal, she is misinformed. Maybe if we meet I can, to use the words of the President, 'educate her.')
Ressa was named a Time Magazine "Person of the Year" in 2018 for her journalism and has recently received awards from Stanford University and Columbia School of Journalism.