PRRD says he, Puyat just friends

Rodrigo Duterte - MB File
Rodrigo Duterte - MB File

By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

President Duterte has put an end to speculations that he is in a relationship with new Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

Duterte, in a speech in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu Thursday, said that he and the daughter of former Sen. and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo are just really close.

Their closeness, he said, is sometimes misinterpreted.

“The popular notion is girlfriend ko siya. She is not. Honestly, she is not,” Duterte said, referring to the former Agriculture Undersecretary. “Ito naman si Bernadette, talagang parang buddy-buddy ko. Pero ang mga TV, ‘yung binabantayan ‘yung body language. She is not my girlfriend,” he added.

Duterte then teased Puyat to admit if they are in a relationship. “Ano ba tayo, on o hindi? Magsabi ka ng totoo,” he asked Puyat, earning the laughter of his audience.

“She’s a very good friend,” he added.

The President explained the reason whye he selected Puyat to take the place of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo who resigned due to a controversial advertisement deal with her brothers’ program in PTV-4. “You’re at the moment when there was really nobody to pick, siya ang pinili ko because I know her. She’s a magna cum laude graduate of the School of Economics sa UP,” Duterte said.

Even since she was still with the Department of Agriculture, Puyat has been visible in some of Duterte’s events where the President has expressed fondness of her.

Duterte once joked in a March 2017 event that he was distracted by her legs. “Berna, nadis-distract ako, you close your legs. National TV ‘no. Nakikinig pa ba ang papa mo,” he jested, but immediately apologized.

The Internet has feasted on a photo of Puyat holding Duterte’s hand in a public function. Although the photo was taken in 2015 when Duterte was still mayor of Davao City, the photo led the speculations that her appointment was due to Duterte’s fondness.

What do you think?

Written by Tempo Online

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