MANILA, Philippines — Hours after his Cabinet colleague Communications Secretary Martin Andanar drew flak for using the Visayan term pala-iyot (pertaining to someone who always engages in sex) to attack President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics from the European Union, chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo got into trouble also because of his mouth — this time for repeatedly using the word “fuck” in an attempt to end an interview on the war on drugs in a light vein.
Panelo was interviewed by Swiss National Public Radio and Television Southeast Asia correspondent Karin Wenger and local correspondent Ana Santos on Friday about the war on drugs and other topics.
Towards the end of the interview, he was asked whether he plays the piano, to which he replied that he does, as well as sings and dances. But, he said, he is “better in bed”.
Asked how he knew, he answered, “Well, when I was still a bachelor, they said, I fuck like an 18-year-old. I fuck my clothes like an 18-year-old. Because I travel a lot.”
Wenger replied, “You fuck your clothes?”
And Panelo said, “You didn’t get the joke? I wanted you to laugh.”
In a text message to News5, Panelo explained, “We were in a banter. It was a funny, witty response to a question regarding my age and my playing the piano as in a repartee in a conversation. I always crack that joke to my friends, even to Malacañang reporters, and I always get a hearty laugh as a response.”
Wenger says sexual joke was inappropriate but Panelo says word ‘pack’ misspelled on purpose
In an email to News5, Wenger said, “His sexual joke was inappropriate and uncalled for.”
Panelo accused Wenger and Santos of misspelling the word “pack” as “fuck” in their transcript on purpose.
But Wenger told News5 in a subsequent chat over Facebook that they did not misspell this on purpose. “I have the audio,” she said.
Asked if she felt offended, she said, “Not just as a woman, but as a person, I found it totally inappropriate.”
Panelo forwarded to News5 the text message he sent Santos, where he told them that they “got it all wrong” and “didn’t get the joke.”
“The punch line was not, ‘I fuck my clothes.’ Rather it’s ‘I pack my clothes… because I travel a lot.’ It was an interplay of words. Obviously you interpreted it wrongly to suit your anti-administration sentiment,” he said.
“Instead of writing about the meat of the interview on the rationale of the issues raised against the Duterte presidency, you conveniently chose to ignore them and highlight a joke you didn’t even understand to put me in a bad light, as well as the President,” added Panelo.
Below is the transcript of the part of the interview where Panelo makes the so-called joke.
Wenger: And one personal question, you play piano, right?
Panelo: Yeah. I play by ear.
Wenger: Do you have any…
Panelo: I compose, I play, and sing, and dance. But I’m better in bed.
Wenger: You’re better in bed?
Santos: Says who?
Panelo: Says me.
Santos: How do you know?
Panelo: Well, when I was still a bachelor, they said I fuck like an 18-year-old. I fuck my clothes like an 18-year-old. Because I travel a lot.
Wenger: You fuck your clothes?
Panelo: You didn’t get the joke? I wanted you to laugh.
Wenger: No. I missed the joke.
Panelo: President (Gloria Macapagal) Arroyo was telling me, because I visited her every, once a week when she was incarcerated, and one time I went there and she was with her Assumptionista classmates. Apparently, they were talking about me. “Hi, Ma’am.” “Hey Sal, they want me to ask a question about you.” “What, Ma’am?” And then I sat down. And they said, they said, “You don’t look your age, you look trim, you look strong. What’s your secret?” And my reply was so fast. I said, “Ma’am, I fuck (pause) my clothes. Because I travel a lot.” And so they all laughed.