President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is only a human being who gets annoyed when criticized despite his hard work, Malacañan said.
President Duterte claimed that the Catholic clergy has no moral ascendancy to criticize him because some of them are involved in corruption, sexual misdemeanors and homosexual acts.
Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Rafael Banaag said the President also gets irritated by criticisms just like other people.
“Tao din lang naman ang ating Presidente ‘di ba (Our president is also human right)? He is a working president. He works hard, he gets tired. Sometimes he gets annoyed,” Banaag told government radio station dzRB.
“But at the end of the day, sana (I hope) we can give our President also allowance for mistakes. Kung may pagkukulang man siya sa pananalita at least nagta-trabaho naman siya (If he has inadequacies in terms of his language, at least he works),” she added.
Banaag is hopeful that the President would be able to compensate the criticisms thrown at him.
“Because, you know, if they criticize him… like any other person, like anyone else, if they criticize you publicly, sometimes you get irritated also,” she said.
“As a person, that happens sometimes.”
President Duterte’s tirades against the Catholic Church came a few days before the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) started its plenary assembly. The assembly, the highest decision-making body of the CBCP, was expected to discuss issues like extrajudicial killings, as well as federalism and death penalty, two of the priority legislation of the Duterte administration.
Banaag said Malacañan is leaving it to Congress to decide whether to enact bills on death penalty and federalism. She reiterated that the Duterte administration does not endorse extrajudicial killings (EJKs).
“EJK’s are not state-sponsored…. Perhaps they (CBCP) might suggest solutions on how to go about the problem and help the government before they make judgments about all these EJKs and attribute it to the President or the administration,” Banaag said.
“Perhaps it would be better if we help each other or perhaps give suggestion on what to do with the problem then maybe it’s best to talk… rather than (to argue on) who’s right or who’s wrong.”