Malacanang says Duterte supporters harassing UP Visayas students a "natural reaction"
Malacanang on Monday said the reaction from supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte after students from University of the Philippines-Visayas became critical with the government during their cheering competition is only “natural”.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo called the alleged harassment of Duterte’s supporters a “very natural reaction”.
“It appears to them (supporters) they (students) are not joking (or) they made it look like a joke but they are really attacking the president,” said Panelo.
The presentation of the group “Skimmers” from UP Visayas went viral after they tackled on national issues such as the West Philippine Sea, Rice Tarrification Law and the mandatory return of Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). They even jokingly said '' let's kill this president.''
“Obviously they were joking. It’s a free country, they can dish out jokes (and) criticisms,” Panelo said.
“If it’s just a joke. The president also jokes on killing. Maybe they are just copying him,” he added.
Students from UP Visayas decried online harassment after they were accused by pro-government supporters of being linked to rebel group, Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA).
In defense, Panelo said the administration’s supporters can also react.
“It’s a free country as I said, they can react too,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS