MANILA – He is just like Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus Christ.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday threw this jab at Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, one of his fiercest critics, as he issued a reminder to his new appointees not to betray their duty to the public.
In his speech, Duterte recalled the story behind how Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci found his model for Judas in his famous painting, The Last Supper. The tale is disputed online.
“Ang ika-13th (apostle), si Hudas. Hinanap niya sa lahat. Punta siya ng ganun, ganun, ganun but pag-uwi niya sa Florence, naghanap siya ng mukha talagang evil, pareho kay Trillanes,” Duterte said, drawing laughter from the audience.
“Naghanap siya ng mukha ni Trillanes. Wala man siya... wala pa man PMA (Philippine Military Academy) noon. Doon nakita niya ‘yung fiesta, nakita niya ‘yung isang tao sa karaming pagkain, gaiety and everything, he saw this man nag-i-scavenge, scavenging the basura, naghanap ng pagkain. So pagdaan niya nakita niya, nakita niya, “P***** i**, Trillanes nga ito.”
Da Vinci, according to Duterte, even tried to pacify the man he wanted to pose as a model for Judas, telling him not to be "insulted."
“So he talked to him and said, ‘Do not be insulted, but you know, I’m trying to complete my painting, the only person missing there, the face is Judas,’” Duterte said. “Sabi niya, ‘You are not Judas.’”
Duterte said this is also what he would tell Trillanes.
“Sabihin ko kay Trillanes ganun, ‘You are not the Judas.’ But sabi ni Da Vinci, “You are a model for a face of evil.” Sabihin ko na rin… “You are a model… a face of evil,’” the President said of the minority senator, who has tagged him in murders and unexplained wealth.
The President wrapped up his story by saying that the man who supposedly served as a model for Judas was the same man who posed as Jesus Christ for Da Vinci’s painting years earlier.
Duterte said government officials must learn from the story.
“So we all start with the noblest of intentions, joining government, dreaming for a... we start good, but especially in government, hindi kayo,” he said.
“I hate to see you being a Jesus Christ, only to discover in the end that you are the Judas that I have been also looking for.”