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MANILA, Philippines – As far as Malacañang is concerned, the pre-debut photo shoot of presidential granddaughter Isabelle Duterte in the Palace is a non-issue.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement on Friday, December 15, when asked about the controversial photo shoot of Isabelle in parts of the Palace the previous night.
"I don't think it should be an issue," Roque said.
Malacañang, as the official residence of the President, is used as a venue for private events of the Chief Executive's family.
Roque said that even if President Rodrigo Duterte chose to live in Bahay Pangarap, within the Malacañang compound but across Pasig River from the Palace itself, his family members are entitled to have "pictures taken" in Malacañang.
"The President is entitled to live in Malacañang. He opted not to pero siguro naman mga kamaganak niya, sarili niyang apo, puwede magpa-picture-picture sa Malacañang (but perhaps his relatives, his own grandchild can take pictures inside Malacañang)," said Roque.
Duterte's spokesman likened Isabelle to ordinary Filipinos who also have their photos taken if they happened to be in the country's seat of power.
"Gaya sila ng ordinaryong mamamayan na puwedeng magpapicture-picture sa Malacañang (They are like ordinary citizens who can have picture-taking in Malacañang)," he said.
Roque also said Isabelle's photo shoot did not violate any Philippine laws.
The photo shoot caused a stir among netizens who noted that it went against the projected image of the President and his family as simple people.
Isabelle, the daughter of Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, wore two gowns and a long dress for the shoot, and hired the services of top-notch stylists and make-up artists, who accompanied her in Malacañang. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.