Congressman Paolo Duterte sorry after son jumped grocery store’s quarantine queue

Congressman Paolo Duterte left, and son Omar <i>Photo: Paolo Duterte, Omar Duterte/ FB</i>
Congressman Paolo Duterte left, and son Omar Photo: Paolo Duterte, Omar Duterte/ FB

Presidential son and Davao City Congressman Paolo Duterte publicly apologized for the behavior of his own son, Omar Duterte, who allegedly cut in line at a grocery store in Davao City, violating quarantine protocols set in place against COVID-19.

While it’s unclear when the incident took place, Congressman Duterte acknowledged that the snafu was “unfortunate given the health emergency that we are facing these days,” he said.

“It has come to my attention that my son, Omar Duterte, went to SNR Davao and he did not line up to conduct the stringent screening requirements of the establishment,” the congressman said in a statement released last night.

“It is with humility that I apologize for the behavior of Omar and his impertinence shall be dealt with accordingly,” the 45-year-old lawmaker added.

Seemingly following suit, Omar posted his own statement on Facebook early this morning defending his actions, saying the staff at the store allowed him to enter ahead of the other customers because he was wearing gloves.

“I don’t usually make a big deal out of things… I never even make myself known in the room. Not only for safety reasons, but because I’m the type of guy who never wants to be the center of attention,” he wrote. “BUT this issue has blown up so much that it has caught the attention [of] the people of my life most of whom already informed me of what happened.”

Omar said he didn’t follow S&R protocol because he had already sanitized his hands and was “already wearing gloves” by the time he arrived at the store. He added that a store staff “even insisted we enter” after he was seen with gloves.

The members-only store requires its shoppers to sanitize their hands prior to entering the establishment.

“It seems that some people took the protocols to the letter that even latex gloves aren’t enough to prevent the virus,” Omar said. “I’m sorry for not following the protocols. I was wrong in implying that applying proper sanitation yourself and putting [on] gloves was enough reason for me to not wash them.”

“If I had known that it shouldn’t be seen as comedic to wash your hands moments after putting on gloves, I would have gladly just washed my hands and followed the protocol… But I now know that even with all your preparations, protocols are protocols and no one is above them,” he said.

The 26-year-old also went on the defensive, saying “people seemed to have [an] issue with the things I bought.”

“I admit it was rather insensitive of me to buy food (shrimp, cajun spice, lemons, white vinegar) to cook at home and some drinks (some bottles and a six-pack of beer),” he said, saying the items were meant to celebrate his one-year wedding anniversary.

The Presidential Security Group will also be investigating the security team who accompanied Omar during the incident, his father Paolo said.

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