MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – It’s a classic case of musical chairs. Teddy Boy Locsin is the new Presidential Spokesperson, and Harry Roque is taking his place as Foreign Affairs Secretary.
The reshuffle was announced by President Rodrigo Duterte in what many believe is his strategy of dealing with infighting within his Cabinet.
It all started when Locsin tweeted that “The Philippines has only one President,” in reaction to an Inquirer news story on Duterte’s U.N. General Assembly speech where he mentioned that the arbitral ruling on the Philippines’ claim over the West Philippine Sea is now part of international law. In that news story, Roque was quoted as saying that the Philippines should now pursue a multilateral approach to the territorial dispute.
Sources close to Duterte told The Adobo Chronicles that as a good tatay (father), the President opted to deal with the brotherly conflict between Locsin and Roque in a neutral manner without siding with either Cabinet member.
Good move, Tatay Digong!
NEW YORK, New York (The Adobo Chronicles, New York Bureau) – After hearing the news that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will address the United Nations General Assembly for the first time this week, Leni Robredo has asked the world body for equal time.
Robredo said she would like to give world leaders an update of her videotaped message to the U.N. several years ago when she criticized the Duterte administration for alleged extra-judicial killings in connection with the government’s war on drugs. It was during this videotaped speech that she revealed the government’s “palit-ulo” scheme.
“Palit-ulo” involves the filing of a case with lighter charges against a suspect who comes forward to give information on his or her drug supplier or the mastermind of a drug syndicate.
But the Office of the Vice President told The Adobo Chronicles that if given the chance to address the U.N., her message will shift to a different kind of “palit-ulo.” It will be a “palit-pang-ulo,” (change the president) in reference to her 4-year-old ambition (and that of her Liberal Party) to take over the presidency from Duterte.
While Duterte’s address to the U.N. will be virtual, Robredo says she’d like to deliver her speech in person in New York City to give her the opportunity to shop for her favorite designer brands of handbags.
TOKYO, Japan (The Adobo Chronicles, Tokyo Bureau) – Congratulations and well wishes have been pouring in from world leaders for Japan’s new prime minister but nothing like the virtual greeting that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sent over to Yoshihide Suga.
The 5-minute zoom call between the two leaders ended with Duterte flashing his trademark fist bump. Suga was thrilled to return the gesture.
And so began Duterte’s Philippine opponents’ outpouring of criticism against the popular head of state. “Duterte, tuta ng Japan,” they cried. (Duterte, puppet of Japan).
DDS (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) countered with their own messages to the Opposition: “Eat your heart out!”