Panelo to relay Duterte apology in South Korea
MANILA, Philippines – Not content with issuing a statement apologizing for the murder of South Korea businessman Jee Ick Joo, President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo to relay his apology to the South Korean government in Seoul.
"I think Panelo is going there, I told him to make a good apology. Wala tayong magawa, nangyari eh (We can't do anything, it happened)," said Duterte on Tuesday, January 31.
He was speaking at the oath-taking ceremony of military officers at the Palace.
Panelo later told reporters he is flying to South Korea on Wednesday, February 1, to attend an international conference. He confirmed that the President had asked him to relay his apology to the South Korean government during his trip.
In his speech, Duterte said he had heard that South Koreans are most distressed about reports that Jee's ashes were flushed down a toilet.
The day before, Duterte had met with Jee's widow Choi Kyung-jin and South Korean Ambassador Kim Jae-Shin at the Palace.
"Ang pinakabastos sa lahat, ang masakit daw sa kanila is talagang ‘yung flushing sa, down the drain sa toilet bowl. Nasaktan sila. Maski naman gawain sa atin ‘yan," he said.
(The most insulting of all, what really pained them is the flushing down of his ashes in a toilet bowl. It hurt them. We would be hurt too if it was done to us.)
Duterte, who has said the murder of the South Korean by his own policemen "embarrassed" him, said he has had to apologize to "almost every Korean who would come here."
Amid the dismantling of all anti-drug units of the police, he has ordered a "cleansing" of the entire police force.
The President, in the same speech, called on the military to arrest corrupt police.
In a January 29 joint command conference, he floated the idea of reviving the Philippine Constabulary, a force to be composed of military personnel, that would take the lead in the drug war on a national level. – Rappler.com
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