MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang announced today a drastic measure authorizing Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar to clarify in real time whether President Duterte is serious or making a joke whenever the latter delivers a speech in public.
“We understand that the Filipino people can sometimes get confused whether or not they will take our president’s statements lightly or seriously,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella in a press conference. “That is why we have assigned Sec. Andanar the task of holding up a big sign stating whether the President’s statements at the time of delivery is a joke, hyperbole, figure of speech or just flat-out truth.”
Malacañang was forced to clarify quickly after Duterte’s statements about personally killing suspects while still mayor of Davao, was taken seriously during a meeting with businessmen at the Palace.
“My gosh! Of course it was just hyperbole and a joke!” quipped Abella. “Would you think a murderer, let alone a president, would admit to such crimes in public?”
Abella added that with Sec. Andanar literally spelling it out President Duterte’s intentions in real time, the need for Malacañang to spin or explain it to the public the next day will no longer be necessary.
“Imbes na magkandarapa kami sa pagtambling coming up with absurd explanations, spins and justifications, eh minabuti na naming liwanagin straight from behind the horse’s mouth,” said Abella, adding that with this measure, future statements of Duterte, whether it be an admission of guilt for being a Marcos lapdog, revelation of using government funds to pay online trolls or a pour-your-heart-out moment expressing his true affection to a certain senator; would not be taken out of context by anyone right then and there.
“We’ll make sure Andanar’s signs are large, legible and probably multi-lingual, for all the world to see,” Abella said. “So that the local and international media would not confuse Duterte’s unique brand of humor with that of a serious mental condition.”