Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Close  
  • share this

Did he admit or not?

05:02 AM October 09, 2018

President Duterte, speaking to newly appointed career officials in Malacañang on Sept. 27, made a statement in Tagalog which his critics gleefully interpreted as an admission of responsibility for the extrajudicial killings in the war on drugs. It was followed by frantic denials and clarifications by his top apologists.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the President was not serious, that his statement did not mean admitting responsibility.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo considered the statement a “matter of language” that was misinterpreted—the President, being a Bisaya, was unable to express exactly in Tagalog what he meant to say, he said.

What did the President say in Tagalog? From various reports, we got this: “Ako, I will talk to — eh, political exercise now. What are your sins? Ako? Sabi ko nga sa military, anong kasalanan ko? Nagnakaw ba ako diyan ni piso? Sige daw. Did I prosecute somebody na ipinakulong ko? Ang kasalanan ko lang ’yung mga extrajudicial killing.”

FEATURED STORIES

Did the President state exactly what he meant? Was he misinterpreted by his critics and the press?

Had the President expressed himself in Bisaya, he would have said: “Ang kasalanan ko lang kanang mga extrajudicial killing”—“kanang” is “’yung” in Tagalog. If the texts in Tagalog and Bisaya are exactly the same except for one word, what was mistranslated or misinterpreted? In English, it would still
be “My only sin is the extrajudicial killing.”

Whether in Tagalog, Bisaya or English, the statement is plain and simple admission or confession. If there had really been a misstatement, it was the President’s fault — not because he is a Bisaya, but because of his style of extemporaneous speaking, rambling and disoriented rather than carefully thought out and focused.

Should we blame the court if his plea, on record, is “guilty” instead of “not guilty”?

PATRICIO P. DIAZ, General Santos City, patponcediaz@yahoo.com

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: drug killings, EJKs, extrajudicial killings, Inquirer letters, Patricio P. Diaz, Rodrigo Duterte, war on drugs
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.