MANILA, Philippines — Renato Reyes Jr., secretary-general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), called out President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday for doing things “such that rules for mere mortals do not seem to apply to him anymore.”
“Only the president can curse,” Reyes said in Filipino, echoing a statement made earlier by presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Duterte’s directive to government officials to be more diplomatic in dealing with the maritime dispute with China.
Duterte issued the directive after Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. directed a strongly-worded message to China on Twitter over its ships’ lingering at the West Philippine Sea: “China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see… O…GET THE FUCK OUT. What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. You. You’re like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese province …”
Reyes also took exception to other things that Duterte had done.
“Duterte can be inoculated with an unapproved vaccine, sourced from unknown suppliers, and administered by no less than the Secretary of Health, in clear contravention of FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines,” Reyes said.
The 76-year old Duterte was inoculated a day before with Sinopharm, for which the FDA granted a “compassionate use license” back in February.
Following is the rest of Reyes’s statement:
“The President can travel to and from Davao even during quarantine.
“The President can choose to appear in public only once a week and is not obligated to disclose his work schedule. The President can choose not to disclose his SALN.
“And when he’s called out for the exceptions, he invokes presidential prerogatives as if these make him above the law. This abuse of power is viewed as ‘leadership by example’ by other agencies who have been emboldened to also commit abuses. ”
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