Palace on Duterte's promise of change: 'Wait and see'
MANILA, Philippines – Amid President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's recent controversial statements on media killings, sexist remarks, and the United Nations (UN), a Malacañang official said on Saturday, June 4, that it is better to hold off judgement until the next administration assumes office.
"It is better if we wait for the next administration. We heard the statement of President-elect Duterte that he will fulfill his promise to bring change," Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in an interview with dzRB.
Duterte drew the public's ire on Tuesday, May 31, when he justified the killing of corrupt members of the media. International and local journalist groups slammed the president-elect, calling his statement appalling.
The long-time Davao City mayor also cursed the UN on Thursday evening, June 2, for its supposed failure to solve the conflict in the Middle East.
"Putang-ina kang UN. E hindi mo nga masolve-solve ang patayan diyan sa Middle East (You’re a son of a bitch, UN. You can’t even solve the killings there in the Middle East)," he said.
To this, Coloma responded that everything Duterte says should be taken in the proper context.
"It's important to see everything in the right perspective as the new administration steps in. The president is the principal architect of our international relations so it's better if we wait for the next president's official policy on foreign affairs," Coloma said.
The outgoing Palace official said all the discussions now are just initial observations and preparatory remarks, since Duterte has not yet assumed the presidency.
"What will matter is what official statements and policies he will say and implement once he's already been sworn in as the president of the Republic. Because those will carry our foreign relations," Coloma said.
Duterte had been called out by various groups during the campaign because of his controversial, expletive-rich remarks during public addresses, one directed at Pope Francis. He was also heavily criticized for a rape joke he made involving a slain Australian missionary.
His camp, and Duterte himself, had said that the president-elect would change his tone once he officially assumes the presidency.
Duterte, who won by landslide during the May 9 polls, is set to take his oath as the 16th president of the Philippines at noontime on June 30, when the term of incumbent President Benigno Aquino III officially ends. – Rappler.com