MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte defended late Sunday a recent pre-debut photo shoot of his granddaughter Isabelle Lovelie in Malacañang.
"Ano ba naman ‘yan? Kadugo ko ‘yan eh. Small matter, gamitin lang ‘yung Malacañang," Duterte said during the 39th birthday bash of senator Manny Pacquiao in General Santos City.
"Wala naman ako doon. But even if I was there, itong granddaughter ko magpa-picture, lahat nga ng mga bisita pumupunta diyan, nagpapa-picture eh," he added.
(Come on. She is my blood. That's a small matter, she only used Malacañang. I was not even there. But even if I was there, my granddaughter just had her photos taken, every visitor does that.)
Isabelle is the daughter of Duterte’s son Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte and his former wife Lovelie Sangkola Sumera.
In photos taken inside the Palace grounds, Isabelle was seen wearing different outfits, including a red ball gown by Dubai-based couturier Garimon Roferos.
Some social media users said the Palace was an inappropriate venue for her photo shoot.
Photo shoots at the Chief Executive's official residence are not prohibited, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has said.
"I don't think it should be an issue. Gaya sila ng mga ordinaryong mga mamamayan na pwedeng magpicture sa Malacañang," he told reporters on Friday.