The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino president Senator Koko Pimentel lll pleaded to the Boholanos for forgiveness and understanding over the party’s presidential standard bearer cursing Pope Francis.
Pimentel called DYRD’s top rated “Inyong Alagad” from Manila to convey the party’s apology to the Boholano public worldwide saying in the vernacular “In behalf of Duterte, we are asking for forgiveness over the incident”
“Sabi ko, ‘Bakit?’ Sabi sarado na (and daan). Sabi ko, ‘Sinong darating?’ Sabi si Pope. Gusto kong tawagan, ‘ Pope, p_____ka, umuwi kan na, ‘Wag ka nang bumisita dito,”
This were that words uttered by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte that made top PDP officials squirm on their seats and unleashed a firestorm of criticisms against the presidential aspirant.
“This is part of his manner of speaking where his statements are always peppered with expletives or cuss words”, said Pimentel.
However, Pimentel downplayed the incident about the Pope as a joke or was said in jest as Duterte directed his tirade against the government for their ineptitude in solving the monstrous traffic jams during Pope Francis five day visit to the Philippines.
Pimentel explained that Duterte peed in his pants while trying to make his way through a maze of jammed vehicles during the Pope’s motorcade prompting him to ask why the government was not prepared with contingencies to minimize traffic.
But listeners disagreed with Pimentel’s justification as quoted by several text messages “there was no fuss raised on the traffic situation during the Pope’s visit since the people walked long distances just to catch a glimpse of the Pope”.
“We should even be thankful that the government mapped out a rerouting plan to accommodate more than a million people to greet Pope Francis”, text received from DYRD’s popular TXTKLAMO.
“The Pope’s visit was different from what happened during APEC when people were forced to walk to their office and a four day holiday was declared to clear the streets for the visiting dignitaries”, said a texter.
Duterte was reported to have apologized for his unsavory remarks towards the Pope to Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, a Boholano who hails from Maribojoc and promised to stop uttering expletives for the entire duration of the campaign.
Duterte further promised as reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he will pay the fine of P1,000 for every “slip of the tongue” and donate the amount to Caritas Davao.
PDP Visayas coordinator and provincial chair Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan also expressed sadness over Duterte’s uncalled for statement against the Pope saying “Personally I was offended and hurt by his statements. Pope Francis is a holy person and the head of the Catholic Church”.
But according to Dumaluan who was within earshot from Duterte said that the incident happened at the tail end of the proclamation program after someone from the audience reminded the party about the traffic.
This reminded Duterte of his exasperating experience during Pope Francis visit and this prompted the unfortunate statement that went viral and drew the ire of the Catholic hierarchy.
Pope Francis visited the Philippines on January 15-19, 2015for his first state and parochial visit that drew more than 10 million â€“people in Manila and Tacloban, Leyte.
Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio “Tuloy” Evasco, Jr., considered as one of Duterte’s trusted lieutenants also pleaded for understanding saying “I don’t want to argue or be an apologist of Mayor Duterte”.
He is laying his cards, He is frank. ” if this is what I am, Then you vote or you don’t vote for me rather than hide a lot of things about my person and let people guess who I am”. Let the people judge if I deserve to be the president of the Philippines.
Evasco, who was once the former City Engineer of Davao City despite being a non engineer told DYRD “Inyong Alagad” that I just want people to know how Davao is being ran. I don’t believe that Duterte’s alleged abuses would make Davao what it is now. The Davao experience would speak for itself.
Defending Duterte’s peace and order strategy, Evasco pointed out that “It is not Duterte who eliminated drug offenders but the hands of the law who brought them to jail and those who resisted were dealt with accordingly because he would not allow the lives of the law enforcers to be threatened.”
Despite the fall out over the remarks of Duterte against Pope Francis, a survey conducted by DYRD “Inyong Alagad” showed that voter’s preference still is with Duterte but is in a neck to neck race with Mar Roxas.
With Duterte’s surging popularity, the possibility of being the 16th President of the Philippines would pose a problem in terms of his unorthodox style that prompted Pimentel to quip “If elected President, his language should befit the head of a nation. If he wants to go back to his old self then he can relax in Davao and be his own man”.Â (Chito M. Visarra)