Duterte conduct bad for kids? Roque leaves it to parents to teach good values

Pia Ranada
Most Filipinos already 'accept' President Rodrigo Duterte's propensity to use cusswords and hurl insults at his critics, claims Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

ROLE MODEL? President Rodrigo Duterte's behavior is acceptable for most Filipinos, says Malacañang. Malacañang file photo

MANILA, Philippines – It’s parents’ responsibility to teach their children the right values if groups say President Rodrigo Duterte’s crude language and misogynistic behavior are a bad example for the youth.

This was how Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque responded when asked if Malacañang thinks it’s okay for young Filipinos to adopt the President’s conduct. (READ: Duterte’s cursing is affecting the youth – experts)

“Well, hindi naman po natin sinasabi ‘yun, pero nandiyan po ang mga magulang (Well, we aren’t saying that, but the parents are there),” he said on Thursday, June 21, during a Palace press briefing.

“Sa tingin ko po, ang mga magulang talaga ang dapat na nagtuturo ng tamang conduct. Ako po, pagdating sa pagpapalaki sa mga anak ko, wala akong inaasahan sa mga guro. Ako po mismo nagbibigay ng values formation diyan,” he added.

(In my view, it’s the parents who must teach the right conduct. Me, when it comes to raising my children, I don’t rely on teachers. I myself provide values formation.)

Roque’s remarks come after leaders of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) said it has become a challenge to teach children proper manners in a time when the government’s leaders, including the President, use foul language in public speeches.

Former St Scholastica’s College president Sister Mary John Mananzan had also said that Duterte, as chief executive, should change the way he speaks for the good of the Filipino youth.

Roque, when told about the ACT leaders’ sentiments, belittled the group.

“Left-leaning group po ‘yang ACT at magtapatan na tayo, maliit lang naman ang constituency ng ACT. Sa tingin ko po hindi ‘yan pananaw ng karamihan ng ating mga guro,” said Duterte’s spokesman.

(The ACT is a Left-leaning group and let’s face it, they have a small constituency. I think that’s not the view of a majority of our teachers.)

He then said that most Filipinos already “accept” Duterte’s propensity to use cusswords and hurl insults at his critics.

“Alam naman ng lipunan kung sino’ng hinalal nilang presidente so tanggap po nila ang Presidente for who he is,” said Roque.

(The people know who they voted for president and they accept the President for who he is.)

This echoes the spokesman’s previous defense of Duterte’s sexist remarks and his controversial kiss with a married Filipina in South Korea.

Roque had been heavily criticized for saying that the kiss, and the President’s misogynistic remarks, are acceptable in Philippine culture. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.