Duterte spokesman defends Panelo, Andanar amid criticism for explicit language

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 26 2017 07:23 PM

MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Thursday defended two fellow Palace officials who recently came under fire for using explicit language.

Abella said Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar may have just employed such language “with the assumption that this was a, more or less, informal gathering.”

“I think we need to be able to see in the light of these officials trying to... attempting to relay it in a more... attempting to relay it in a more personal manner with the intended audience,” he said in a news conference.

“So if you’re asking what is acceptable, then you know, it’s... you know, it all depends on what kinds of standards you’re asking.”

Panelo recently came under fire after he was quoted as saying that he “f***s his clothes” in an interview with Swiss National Public Radio and Television Southeast Asia correspondent Karin Wenger.

Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, meanwhile, was criticized for saying that European Union (EU) officials critical of President Rodrigo Duterte are "kulang pa sa iyot" or just need more sex.

Panelo has since clarified that his quote in the transcript of his interview was misspelled, saying what he meant was he was “packing his clothes.”

Andanar, for his part, said his controversial statement was "a comment made amongst DDS (Duterte die-hard supporters) friends in jest."

"I was referring to organizations in Europe criticizing PRRD (Duterte)," he said.