“GORDON must (have been) only being funny”
This was the remark of Malacanang Palace as it dismissed the suggestion of Sen. Dick Gordon to change the Tourism slogan to “Welcome to the PI,” which the senator made as he took a swipe at President Rodrigo Duterte’s penchant for expletives.
“I think he was being funny,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said when asked to comment on Gordon’s suggestion.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, had said in a Senate hearing, “We have to protect the country from bad statements and the President has the duty to be a statesman. He must not be heard saying all bad words.”
Gordon jestingly suggested changing the country’s tourism slogan from “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” to ‘Welcome to the PI’ or ‘Wow PI.’” PI may stand for “Philippine Islands” but it can also refer to a shorthand version of a Filipino expletive.
Gordon made the comment after Duterte earned international criticism for remarking that he would do a “Hitler” and kill three million drug addicts in the Philippines.
Duterte had already apologized for his remark. “I would like to make it (clear) here and now that there was never an intention on my part to derogate the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Germans... I apologize profoundly and deeply to the Jewish [community],” Duterte said.
Abella, in response to criticisms of Duterte, paraphrased a statement of American economist John Kenneth Galbraith: “When the situation changes, he will change his mind and he will change his attitude.”