Ombudsman took Duterte remarks ‘out of context’

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales became quite a living contradiction when she made her recent statement of criticism against President Duterte on her NHK interview.

She heavily criticized Duterte for "goading people to kill people." However, this was quite the opposite of the statement that Ombudsman Morales also made last December, not a year ago, during the Meet the Inquirer forum.

In the said Meet the Inquirer forum, the Ombudsman said: "It's not illegal to say 'I will kill you'".

Photo from Rappler
Duterte vs. Morales

Here is the exchange of statements between the President and the Ombudsman:

President Rodrigo Duterte made statements last July 2, addressing the communists to use their power to do executions of people involved in drugs.

Last week, Ombudsman Morales lambasted President Duterte over his alleged inhumane threats and words towards criminals. She made the remake during her Japan NHK interview which was aired in the Philippines last Thursday.

"He (Duterte) is goading people to kill people. That's a problem. His communications people say 'that's hyperbole.' You know, they try to rationalize whatever he says, so whether or not the police or whoever he addresses these words, believe him. That's a different story. The directive to kill people under any situation irrespective of the context, to me, that's not acceptable," the Ombudsman said.

The Palace then defended President Duterte's statements and struck Morales to have been mistaking Duterte's statement and putting them way beyond the context.

“I think she’s really taking it out of context. Again and again, we’ve stated about how the President expresses himself and that particular statement may have been taken out of context,” President Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a Palace briefing.

In any case, President Rodrigo Duterte has already responded to Ombudsman Morales' accusation of the him "goading people to kill people."

"Ombudsman, find me a law which says I cannot threaten criminals with death. Find me a law which would bar me from saying 'I will destroy you if you destroy my country.' If you can do that, I will step down tomorrow," responded President Duterte to the "goading" accusation of the Ombudsman.

The response by the President has been part of his speech in Malacañang for the Palace's new presidential appointees and officials. In the same speech, the President also hit back on the Ombudsman posing the question, "Since when did you appoint yourself spokesperson of the criminals?" further adding that Morales should rein her mouth in because it has problems.

Photo from GMA News

Meanwhile, on Monday the Office of the Ombudsman released a statement in response to Duterte's dare towards Ombudsman Morales to find him laws that would not allow him to threat criminals and further clarifying the previous statements of Morales.

“She did not say anything about any law against threatening criminals. The president should review what she said first,” the Ombudsman said.

The statement also said that the Ombudsman “stands by” her remarks in an interview with NHK World aired Thursday night, further noting that “the Ombudsman does not find it necessary to say anything more.”

What do you think of Duterte's remarks? Of the Ombudsman's responses? Who do you think makes more sense? Share your thoughts with us.

Sources: PT and Inquirer