Duterte won’t sack Laurel due to ‘reward’ speculations

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the business forum at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on May 29, 2019. PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA – Philippine ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V will not be removed from his post despite his controversial remark that the 16 Cabinet members got a “reward” by joining President Rodrigo Duterte’s working visit in Tokyo, Japan.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Laurel was a “good ambassador” and will not be removed by the President because of his irresponsible statements to the media.

“I think the good ambassador was only innocently speculating or he could have been grossly misinformed,” Panelo said. “Hindi naman nagalit si Presidente. Nagagalit lang ‘yun sa enemies of the state.”

Duterte is currently in Japan to attend the 25th international conference on the future of Asia. He met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday.

Laurel on Tuesday said Duterte rewarded his cabinet members for the victory of the administration’s bets in the 2019 midterm election by including them in his Japan delegation.

“Ito’y pabuya sa nakarang eleksyon. Why do you bring 20 Cabinet members here pati local government for land reform? Wala namang land reform dito. Tapos na,” Laurel said.

“But I think the President is so elated with the results of the midterm elections that this is an affirmation of what his administration does in the last three years. Parang pabuya,” he added.

However, the Cabinet officials vehemently denied Laurel’s speculations and said they were included in Duterte’s entourage as part of their jobs in the government. /PN


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