Much ado about nothing.
Paraphrasing a line from Shakespeare, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Monday said she uttered nothing about President Rodrigo Duterte’s violation of any law because he had threatened to kill criminals.
Morales issued the statement following Duterte’s tirades against her, because in an interview with NHK World Japan she criticized Duterte for “goading people to kill,” which she found “unacceptable.”
Duterte lashed out at Morales and called her a “spokesman of criminals.”
“Do not play God and shut up,” Duterte said in a speech Monday.
The President also challenged Morales to cite a law against threatening to kill criminals.
“Find me a law which says I cannot threaten a criminal with death,” Duterte said. “If you can do that, I will resign tomorrow.”
Morales in her latest statement said she is “amused by so much ado about something she did not say.”
“Her answer was ‘goading people to kill irrespective of the context is, to me, unacceptable.’ She did not say anything about any law against threatening criminals,” Morales said in her statement.
Morales said she “stands by” her responses during the NHK interview, adding that she has no more to say in her reaction to Duterte’s tirades.
She advised the President to review again the transcript of her interview.
“She stands by her answer to the NHK’s question which she says is correct,” her statement read.
“The president should review what she said first. Beyond this, the Ombudsman does not find it necessary to say anything more,” she added.
Malacañang also dismissed Morales’s remarks last Friday, saying that Morales was entitled to her own opinion, but she had taken Duterte’s kill threats out of context.
In her interview with NHK, Morales said that she considered as “unacceptable” and problematic Duterte’s statements “goading people to kill.”
“You know, they try to rationalize whatever he says so whether or not the police or whoever he addresses these words believe him,” Morales aid. “That’s a different story. The directive to kill people under any situation irrespective of the context, to me, that’s not acceptable.”
Morales made the comment about Duterte even though they are related by affinity.
Morales is the sister of Lucas Carpio Jr., the husband of Court of Appeals Justice Agnes Reyes Carpio. Justice Carpio is the mother of Manases “Mans” Carpio, the husband of Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. This makes Morales an aunt of Mans Carpio.
Morales’s latest comment on Duterte’s kill statements differed from her opinion last year when she said there was nothing illegal in the President’s threats to kill criminals in his public speeches. –With a report from Airei Kim Guanga, INQUIRER.net intern /atm
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