President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that the promise that he made during his 2016 election campaign was only a “pure campaign joke” and those who believed it were “stupid.”
In 2016, he pledged to ride a jetski to the West Philippine Sea and plant a Philippine flag there himself.
However, during a televised address on May 10, he stated that it was a joke and if one believed in it, he’d say that they are “really stupid.”
“Panahon ‘yan sa kampanya ‘yan. At saka ‘yung biro na ‘yun, ‘yung bravado ko, it was a pure campaign joke at kung naniniwala kayo sa kabila, I would say you are really stupid,” he uttered.
He added that he planned to fulfill his promise and bought a second-hand jetski but didn’t have the chance to do it as some parts that he ordered never arrived.
“Nagplano ako niyan. Bumili ako ng jet ski. Ang kaya ko, second-hand lang. So nag order ako ng piyesa, hanggang ngayon, hindi pa dumating since then. Eh walang dumating, wala akong magawa.
“Mahirap ito…. Alam ba ninyo hindi ako marunong maglangoy?”
Netizens criticized the President as his 2016 pledge was supposedly an answer to a fisherman’s question, asking Duterte what he would do to protect their right to make a living.
That ‘joke’ was an answer to the question from a Filipino fisherman who asked Duterte during the 2016 presidential campaign if he would stand up for his right to make a living. A question asked by someone who comes from one of the poorest sector of society in the Philippines https://t.co/GUMmpIBUiY
— Jamela Alindogan (@jamelaaisha) May 11, 2021
A Twitter account also used satire to point out Duterte’s act.
Abangan… Ang pinaka makatindig balahibong paranormal / parang abnormal thriller na hango sa totoong pangyayari : THE SICK SENSE ("I see stupid people. But they dont know that they're stupid.")
— Tony Velasquez (@KakanTuring) May 11, 2021
News anchor Karen Davila pointed out that the President made his jetski pledge during the 2016 ABS-CBN Presidential debate.
This was the ABSCBN 2016 Presidential Debate.
Mangingisda ang nagtanong kay Duterte kung ano ang gagawin niya gayung tinataboy sila ng Tsina tuwing nangingisda. https://t.co/wsoaBfC4AJ
— Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) May 11, 2021
Anjo Bagaoisan quoted the fisherman’s question five years ago.
“Ano ang pwede n’yong gawin para sa aming mangingisda na hindi kami mataboy ng Chinese coast guard at para makapamingwit kami nang mabuti at mapayapa?”
—Seryosong tanong ng mangingisdang si Carlo Montehermezo, Abril 2016 pic.twitter.com/SoBgoSDh5T
— Anjo Bagaoisan (@anjo_bagaoisan) May 11, 2021
“Reminder that it wasn’t just some part of a campaign speech. It was the answer to an audience question coming from a fisherman asking what the candidates would do about the harassment the fishermen were experiencing from the Chinese,” Noel Pascual wrote.
"Pure campaign joke"
Reminder that it wasn't just some part of a campaign speech. It was the answer to an audience question coming from a fisherman asking what the candidates would do about the harassment the fisherment were experiencing from the Chinese. https://t.co/2J6sT0MStb pic.twitter.com/Obo0ooizhE
— Noel Pascual (@noelvpascual) May 10, 2021
Quark Henares asked if what Duterte did can be considered gaslighting.
saya siguro to just say random shit as a promise to a nation and just say you were joking when you couldn’t deliver no? and then just call people stupid for believing you. does that still count as gaslighting or should we make a new word for this? https://t.co/ZCBNG3WpnM
— Quark Henares (@quarkhenares) May 11, 2021
Teddy Casino pointed out that the issue is not about the joke but about the President’s “treasonous kowtowing to China.”
Maybe you don't get it. It's not about your jet ski joke or about you backing out of the debate with Carpio. It's about your treasonous kowtowing to China and you undermining our sovereign rights in the West PH Sea. #DuterteTraydor
— Teddy Casiño (@teddycasino) May 10, 2021
A Netizen urged the President to apologize rather than calling people names.
Can you just apologize rather than saying / calling those people who believes in your words that they are 'stup * d'? 😔😔 https://t.co/pIrQImqz1p
— 𝓦𝓮𝓷𝓭𝔂𝔂𝔂 ♡ (@queeeennn24) May 11, 2021
Someone also said that Duterte’s whole term as President is a “joke.”
After 5 years, Carlo Montehermezo, the fisherman who asked the question during the presidential debates shared his reactions regarding the president’s “stupid” remark.
“Masama ang loob namin. ‘Yun ang sinasabi niyang gagawin niya. Bakit joke joke lang? Joke joke lang din siyang naging presidente natin.”
Here’s what that “joke” means to the fisherman who asked the question during the presidential debates
“Masama ang loob namin. ‘Yun ang sinasabi niyang gagawin niya. Bakit joke joke lang? Joke joke lang din siyang naging presidente natin.”pic.twitter.com/2AoUjr4PeB
— Jeff Canoy (@jeffcanoy) May 12, 2021
Duterte also claimed that he never promised to retake the West Philippine Sea during his campaign.