'People's Palace' no more? Online fury as Duterte says he 'owns' Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines – Anger erupted online after President Rodrigo Duterte defended Mocha Uson's appointment as communications assistant secretary by saying that he "owns" Malacañang.

In a video uploaded by the celebrity entertainer-turned-government official last Friday, May 12, Duterte had said: "Tutal ako naman ang may-ari ng Malacañang ngayon." (Anyway I'm the owner of Malacañang now.)

Social media users, far from pleased, pointed out that Malacañang Palace belongs to the people of the Philippines.

You're the president and you work in the Malacañang. Doesn't make you it's owner. Have some shame. — jeffu (@nottrulyagem) May 13, 2017 @rapplerdotcom Somebody tell this man that he doesnt own Malacañang. You are a trustee, sir. Not an owner. — K I R S T E N (@tennineight) May 13, 2017 @rapplerdotcom When you pay, you pay with your OWN resources.  Malacanang is not yours, Mr. President.  You are just its transient there for the time being — Tu-tut (@rmszllb) May 13, 2017

 

NEW OFFICIAL. President Rodrigo Duterte speaks with newly appointed Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson in Hong Kong. Screenshot from Uson's Facebook page

NEW OFFICIAL. President Rodrigo Duterte speaks with newly appointed Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson in Hong Kong.

Screenshot from Uson's Facebook page

'People's Palace' no more?

Others pointed out that Duterte apparently contradicted himself. They reminded him that in August 2016, he said he wanted to rename Malacañang Palace to "People's Palace."

People's palace turned into "ako may ari ng malacañang" — joseph (@JosephBundoc) May 13, 2017

 

Some also rejected the President's comment that people were just "envious" of Uson. They said that as taxpayers, people have the right to question Duterte's choices.

 

Others said it wasn't right either for Duterte to use "utang na loob" (debt of gratitude) as a reason for giving Uson a government post.

 

The President's supporters, however, told his critics to lighten up. Duterte, they said, was just joking.

 

What do you think of Duterte's remarks? Let us know in the comments section! – Rappler.com