- His statement garnered negative reactions from netizens who are horrified about the way he downplayed homicide.
- He then said that his statement should be viewed with other heinous crimes in the country.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo was slammed by netizens after he compared President Rodrigo Duterte’s grant of absolute pardon to US Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton to Former President Benigno Aquino III’s grant of pardon to Robert Burton.
Pemberton was convicted of homicide in 2015 after he killed a transgender woman, Jennifer Laude, at a motel in Olongapo City. On the other hand, Burton was convicted of drug trafficking in 1993.
“Si Presidente Aquino may pinardon na Amerikano at alam mo yung crime niya? Drugs. Oh eto nga homicide lang eh,” Panelo said during his show Counterpoint.
Celebrities and netizens reacted to his statement, stating how horrified they are that the President’s Chief Legal Counsel would downplay homicide.
From Panelo's "homicide lang" remark to Harry Roque's "it's for the greater good of having access to vaccines" defense, we see what Duterte does to his supporters: he strips away their sense (or pretense) of right and wrong.
— Gideon Lasco (@gideonlasco) September 10, 2020
This the type of people in the seats of our country… https://t.co/1IDPZgNt4k
— sunn (@pusangkalat) September 10, 2020
“Pero nakapagtataka pa ba iyon ganyang mga statement galing sa gobyernong nagsasabing 6,000 (and counting) LANG ang namatay sa drug war?” Bernaby Lo asked.
Pero nakapagtataka pa ba iyon ganyang mga statement galing sa gobyernong nagsasabing 6,000 (and counting) LANG ang namatay sa drug war?
— Barnaby Lo (@barnabychuck) September 10, 2020
Frankie Pangilinan also reacted to Panelo’s statement.
“Homicide lang” how comforting to know na nawalan si Jennifer Laude ng buhay LANG
— gaya sa pelikula stan (@kakiep83) September 10, 2020
Other netizens also reacted negatively to Panelo’s words.
you know what's worse than getting murdered?
getting murdered THEN having to beg for justice but receiving remarks like "shit happens" and "homicide lang" from the lips of the very people who swore to serve and protect you. https://t.co/LLYWzaPjhI
— amour #OustDuterte (@kimmiharielle) September 10, 2020
They really don’t care. Killing for them seems a very small offense. And don’t get me started with context that it might be the gravity of homicide vs murder based on our laws. Pinatay parin si Jennifer. Hindi na maibabalik ang buhay nya. pic.twitter.com/8f1ZTaRO9d
— ricci (@ricci_richy) September 9, 2020
How the hell can he easily say “eto nga homicide lang eh” like an actual life means nothing??? https://t.co/Hf83OMEcNs
— Jae Miranda (@JaeMiranda_) September 10, 2020
How you demean life, Mr. Panelo. You are everything this regime is right now. Insensitive and heartless.
— Miss Maggie (@MiaMagdalena) September 9, 2020
Panelo then explained that his statement should be viewed in consideration of other crimes in the Philippines.
“Bakit ko sinabi na homicide lang? Kasi ’yun pong drugs kung saan ’yung British nga na pinardon ni PNoy, ’yung krimen niya ay heinous crime at convicted and affirmed ng Korte Suprema,” he said during the Friday episode of his show.
“Kung ikukumpara mo homicide, hindi naman heinous crime. ’Yun ang konteksto nu’n pero di ko sinasabi na tama ’yung ginawa.”
He then brushed off the issue and asked everyone to move on.