By Genalyn D. Kabiling
Malacañang has assured there is no discrimination against women working in government in a bid to downplay concerns about President Duterte’s latest anti-women remark.
The President has claimed he was opposed to appointing a woman when asked by reporters about his choice for the next Chief Justice following the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“Unang-unang, I will clarify kung sinabi talaga ng Presidente ‘yun,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said during a Palace press briefing. “Pero sa aking pagkakaalam po wala naman pong diskriminasyon against sa kababaihan.
Kahit sino po pwedeng ma-appoint sa ating gob yerno,” he added.
Roque made the statement amid the confusion if the President was opposed to appointing a woman Chief Justice or Ombudsman during a recent media interview.
The President has bared the qualities of the next Chief Justice after Sereno’s appointment was nullified by the Supreme Court through a quo warranto petition. “Gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course, it could not be a politician lalo na hindi babae,” Duterte told reporters in Malacanang.
Roque, however, clarified that the President appeared to be referring to the next Ombudsman during the media interview.
“Ang pagkakaintindi ko kasi ang diskusyon was on the Ombudsman so hindi ko na narinig ang tanong sa CJ,” he said.
“Kasi yung konteksto ng pagkakarinig ko was ‘Tatanungin ko sa Ombudsman pero hindi sa babae, hindi kay Conchita Morales. Ang pagkakaintindi ko hindi niya tatanungin si Cochita Morales kung sino ang gusto niyang pumalit,” he added.
Asked why the President does not like a woman government official, Roque said he does not know.