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Sotto defends Duterte: “Expression lang ‘yun eh. Bakit naman seseryosohin nila? Alanganaman pumunta siya sa impyerno?"

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday downplayed President Rodrigo Duterte’s “go to hell” remark against US President Barack Obama.

“Expression lang ‘yun eh. Bakit naman seseryosohin nila? Alanganaman pumunta siya sa impyerno? He could have said go to heaven, expression lang ‘yun. Dapat huwag masyado sineseryoso,” Sotto told reporters.

Duterte on Tuesday lashed out anew at the US and the European Union for their criticisms of his administration's war on drugs.

“Instead of helping us, ang unang tumira, itong [US] State Department. So, you can go to hell. Mr. Obama, you can go to hell," Duterte said.

"EU, better choose purgatory. Puno na ang impiyerno. Bakit ako matakot sa inyo?" he added.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, a close ally of Duterte, said the President’s comments against Obama, “may be his way or style of cutting the umbilical cord” with the United States.

“That’s the style of the President. Naalala niyo during the campaign sinasabihan niyo rin ako nang ganyan na pipigilan ba natin ang Presidente? Sabi ko let him be himself, he will be more effective,” Pimentel said. “Tingnan mo nangyari, eh di nanalo sa eleksyon.”

“Let him be because he will be more effective. He is not pretending to be someone else and then in due time, we all learn from our experiences, we all learn from our mistakes,” he added.

Pimentel said there would be “adjustments in due time” as the feedback of the public is also taken into account.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, for his part, said Duterte’s statement was “unnecessary.”  [source]

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