MANILA, Philippines – The term #DuterteDuwag is trending in twitter with more than 30.3k tweets as of this writing. This is due to the statement in a live telecast of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that the President Duterte backs out in a debate challenge with retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and instead chose him (Roque) in President’s behalf.
On a late night speech of President Duterte on May 5, 2021, Duterte challenged Carpio in a debate on the issue of the West Philippine Sea. “Supreme Court justice, pareho man tayo abugado. Gusto – eh gusto mo mag-debate tayo?” Duterte said.
Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Carpio then accepted Duterte’s debate challenge and dares him to resign, he said in a statement sent to reporters on Thursday, May 6, to quote,
On President Duterte’s challenge to debate with me on the West Philippine Sea issue: I gladly accept the challenge anytime at the President’s convenience.
The President later backed out after several Cabinet members including Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and two senate members including Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Sen. Koko Pimentel discouraged the President Duterte from debating with Carpio because this might affect and compromise the national policies of the government and potential leaks of confidential information, said Secretary Harry Roque.
They chose Secretary Roque instead as the President’s replacement in the debate. To quote from Roque,
Ang sabi po ni Presidente, kung papayag si Antonio Carpio tuloy ang debate dahil importante naman na marinig ang mga ideas para ang mga taong bayan ang makagawa ng konklusyon. Ang sabi po ni Presidente tinatalaga niya po ang inyong abang lingkod na makipag-debate kay retired justice Antonio Carpio, at tinanggap ko naman po ang pagtatatalaga ni Presidente.
He also clarified that the debate should be limited to who is responsible for the lost Scarborough Shoal and Mischief Reef, and whether or not Duterte ignored the Philippine arbitral victory against China.
Addressing to Carpio,
It would be a pleasure to debate against you. I’ll see you in the designated time and place.
Here are some of the reactions and tweets from the random accounts in Twitter featuring the #DuterteDuwag trending topic:
Breaking News: Duterte backs out of debate challenge.
— supermaj (@ceejayader) May 7, 2021
Only in the Philippines, where you can back out of a debate you initiated. #DuterteDuwag
— Mac Mac Mac (@macturijatweets) May 7, 2021
— 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙨 loves coffee and cat (@_artros) May 7, 2021
— Plantyyy (@jrcbriones23) May 7, 2021
When Roque said they don’t want Duterte to stoop down on Justice Carpios level!
— Bill (@bclntn) May 7, 2021
— 𝒎 ༊ 🪴🌱 (@mavsmallowww) May 7, 2021
“Si Harry Roque ang haharap sa debate kay Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.”
— Riyan Portuguez (@riyanportuguez) May 7, 2021
— League of Filipino Students (@LFSPhilippines) May 7, 2021
how it started how it’s going pic.twitter.com/J5nRqfbiIP
— Tian Simpao (@fujiwara124) May 7, 2021
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