President Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo exchange pleasantries during the Philippine Military Academy graduation rites yesterday. Beside Duterte is PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde.
Duterte asks Robredo: Why don’t you smile at me?
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 27, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte yesterday teased Vice President Leni Robredo during their first meeting since she was linked to an alleged plot to oust him and the opposition’s defeat in the midterm polls.

Duterte and Robredo attended the graduation of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Mabalasik Class 2019 at Fort del Pilar in Baguio City.

Duterte awarded the presidential saber to batch valedictorian Cadet First Class Dionne Mae Umalla while Robredo handed the vice presidential saber to salutatorian Cadet First Class Jonathan Mendoza.

During the start of his speech, Duterte ribbed Robredo, the highest elected member of the opposition, about not smiling at him anymore.

“Vice President Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo, ma’am, bakit noon ma’am naga-smile ka sa akin, ngayon hindi na? Ikaw ha (Ma’am, you used to smile at me. Not anymore. Why?)” Duterte said, drawing laughter from the audience.

After his 13-minute speech, Duterte was seen shaking hands with a smiling Robredo.

Last week, Peter Joemel Advincula, the man who claimed to be the narrator behind a series of videos that accused the Duterte family of involvement in narcotics, surrendered to the police and linked the opposition to an alleged plot to unseat Duterte.

He said the opposition Liberal Party (LP) produced the anti-Duterte videos to oust Duterte and to put Robredo in power. Robredo has denied Advincula’s claim and expressed readiness to answer the allegations against her in any forum. Members of the opposition have also belied the accusations and are studying possible legal actions against Advincula.

Malacañang previously said the anti-Duterte videos were propaganda intended to smear the reputation of the President and to boost the candidacy of the senatorial bets of opposition slate Otso Diretso.

None of the Otso Diretso senatorial candidates made it to the so-called Magic 12.

Another rape joke

Toward the end of his speech, Duterte made yet another rape joke as he was about to pardon PMA underclassmen who committed offenses.

He asked the cadets who among them committed offenses and who among them needed to be pardoned. He then joked that the erring cadets had learned from policemen who refused to admit to their wrongdoings.

“Well, anyway I’ll pass you this time because I need good and capable soldiers and I know that one or two is bound to happen. But I will pardon you,” Duterte said.

The President went on to enumerate the supposed offenses of the erring cadets.

“Number one is for rape. P***** i** (son of a b****). Number two is drugs with rape with robbery. This is for Muntinlupa. Third, multiple rape of the women of Baguio, the beautiful ones. Who committed this,” he said, drawing laughter from the audience.

Women’s rights advocates have accused Duterte of misogyny, saying his remarks on rape and sexual harassment promote gender discrimination and violence against women. Officials have denied that Duterte is sexist, saying he even pushed for pro-woman programs when he was mayor of Davao City like the creation of a reproductive health center.

Last March, Duterte accused critics of his crude language of depriving him of his right to freedom of expression.

Impeachment

Robredo may face impeachment after being implicated by Advincula alias Bikoy, a Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) official said yesterday.

PACC Commissioner Manuelito Luna maintained that Robredo could be held liable if Advincula’s statement would be corroborated and proven. – With Edu Punay

DUTERTE PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY PRESIDENTIAL ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION ROBREDO
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