Get ready to face palm so hard you might have difficulty lifting your head up permanently. In an interview with Karin Wenger, the South East Asia correspondent of Swiss National Public Radio, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo joked about f*cking his clothes.
Karin initially expressed her frustration over social media after her interview which was conducted with local correspondent Ana Santos. The heart of the feature was about Duterte’s war on drugs. In the latter part of the interview, Panelo sneaked in a sexual reference. Karin shared the recording with Preen.ph and here’s the transcript of the particular exchange:
Karin Wenger: And one personal question: You play piano, right?
Salvador Panelo: Yeah. I play by ear.
KW: Do you have any—
SP: I compose, I play, and sing and dance. But I’m better in bed.
KW: You’re better in bed?
Ana Santos: Says who?
SP: Says me.
AS: How do you know?
SP: Well, when I was still a bachelor, they said I f*ck like an 18 year old. I f*ck my clothes like an 18-year-old. Because I travel a lot.
KW: You f*ck your clothes?
SP: You didn’t get the joke? I wanted you to laugh.
KW: No. I missed the joke. I’m sorry.
SP: Pres. Arroyo was telling me, because I visited her every once a week when she was incarcerated, and one time I went there and she was with her Assumptionista classmates. Apparently, they were talking about me. “Hi, ma’am.” “Hey Sal, they want to ask you one question.” “What is it, ma’am?” And then I sat down. And they said that “You don’t look your age, you look trim, you look strong. What’s your secret?” And my reply was so fast. I said, “Ma’am, I f*ck…my clothes. Because I travel a lot. And so they all laughed.”
Karin initially couldn’t believe what she was hearing. But as you can see above, he had to repeat it because no one was laughing at the “joke.” Piece of advice, Mr. Panelo: The “joke” doesn’t get funnier when you repeat it. Sexual references are also not “jokes” when placed in a professional setting, even if it’s in the personal context of your piano skills. The nature by which the anecdote was mentioned is also indicative of an unnecessary display of machismo. No one asked, Mr. Panelo, so don’t share.
This exchange proved to be just the rotten cherry on top of a confusing interview.
Karin puts the behind-the-scenes encounter succinctly: “If a guy like that, who talks like that, is the legal adviser of the president…it tells a lot about the nature of this government.”
Art by Lara Intong
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