Duterte spokesperson defends cursing; says it’s part of freedom of speech

Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it’s all a joke. Photo: ABS-CBN News.

Trust Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo to always defend President Rodrigo Duterte and his numerous idiosyncrasies.

Today, he defended cursing — a favorite habit of Duterte — by saying that it is part of a person’s freedom of speech.

Panelo defended it during a media conference where he was asked about his opinion on Baguio City’s anti-cursing city ordinance.

According to Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, the ordinance was ratified so that students could be taught good values.

When asked by a reporter about his thoughts on the ordinance, Panelo appeared clueless.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of that. I have to see that. Is that an ordinance? Ordinance in Baguio? Exactly what profane words are they prohibiting?” Manila Bulletin quoted Panelo saying.

But it quickly turned into an opportunity for Panelo to defend a person’s — and by extension, Duterte’s — right to curse.

“I think even cursing is part of freedom of speech. For as long as you do not injure the person that is the subject of your curse,” GMA News quoted Panelo saying. 

He didn’t stop there. He further justified cussing by saying that everyone does it anyway, especially when they’re angry.

“You know profane words are uttered in a moment of anger – so all of us does (sic) it. I don’t think I have not heard of anyone not cursing when one is angry,” Panelo said.

He added that if it were brought to the courts, the ordinance might prove to be unconstitutional.

“It may not pass the constitutional test when it is raised before the courts,” Manila Bulletin quoted Panelo saying. 

President Rodrigo Duterte is known all over the world for cursing everyone; even Pope Francis was not spared.

That’s why former Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that the Baguio ordinance will not work if leaders like Duterte have no qualms cussing and threatening people.

Going to Baguio City soon? Think you can follow the new ordinance? Leave a comment below or tweet to us @CoconutsManila.

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