Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo invoked Duterte’s longtime stand that foreigners should not meddle in local affairs of the country.
Robinson Niñal Jr./Presidential Photo
Palace frowns on Midler’s criticism of Duterte
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - November 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang took exception yesterday to singer-actress Bette Midler’s criticisms on social media against President Duterte, whom she described as among the world’s most detestable leaders.

Midler has lumped Duterte together with the likes of US President Donald Trump and Nazi  leader Adolf Hitler.

“She, however, has no right as she is incompetent and a gullible talking head as well, on matters concerning foreign leaders she has no personal knowledge of,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

Panelo invoked Duterte’s longtime stand that foreigners should not meddle in local affairs of the country.

“She should be circumspect as an influencer and should refrain from giving one-sided and judgmental comments on internal affairs of another sovereign state, especially if her references are false narratives coming from the political opposition and some biased media outlets whose agenda is to besmirch President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his administration before the global stage,” Panelo said.

An outspoken critic of Trump, the singer posted on her Twitter account her sentiments on the ongoing impeachment hearings on the US president and why it should be a concern for Americans.

“We understand that actress Bette Midler, based on her numerous tweets, is an outspoken critic of her government. She has the right to criticize in her country as an exercise of her freedom of expression,” Panelo said.

Midler also tweeted: “For Americans who think the impeachment hearings have nothing to do with them, think again. Want to leave the door open to a Hitler? A Stalin? A Castro? A Duterte? A Pol Pot? A Putin? An Assad? A Chavez? A Kim Jong Un? A Mussolini? A Mugabe? An Amin? #Trump’s the gateway to that.” 

Instead, Panelo lifted some lyrics from Midler’s song to get back at the singer-actress.

“We suggest that she revisit her famous song ‘From A Distance’ and learn from its lyrics that she may look at a foreign leader of a distant country with a positive outlook: ‘From a distance there is harmony & it echoes through the land/ It’s the voice of hope/ It’s the voice of peace/ It’s the voice of every man/ From a distance we are instruments/ Marching in common band/ Playing songs of hope/ Playing songs of peace/ They are the songs of every man,’” Panelo said.

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