When television personalities, comedians particularly, cross the line between decency and indecency in their public utterances or jokes, expect the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board to issue summons against the erring personality and mete out sanctions if warranted.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo explained to the nation that President Duterte was merely joking when he told a crowd in Bacolod City last week that he will take the spittle of the beautiful lady who will spit on his face, add his own and return the combined spittle to her.
The context of what Panelo tried his best to explain was Duterte’s statement that he will submit himself to ridicule by allowing everyone who cares to spit on his face if it can be proven he has hidden wealth. In issuing the dare, he would have sounded very upright if not for the I’ll take your spittle and add my own before returning it to the beautiful woman who had spit him on his face thing.
Panelo would like the nation to believe Duterte was merely joking. But is he a comedian? For heaven’s sake, he is the head of state and chief executive of the Republic of the Philippines.
If he were a mere comedian making such dirty and sex-oriented joke, for sure the following day he would have received summons from the MTRCB to explain what he had done and given punitive sanctions for his uncalled for joke. But since he is not a comedian, he will not receive such summons and will not be penalized by the MTRCB.
This is the point about this. Since he is not a comedian, Panelo should not sell the tall tale that the president was merely joking when he made that sickening joke. It is not the president’s job, duty and responsibility to crack jokes just to entertain his audience. For God’s sake, he is not occupying the office of the presidency only to become an entertainer.
If he wants to entertain then he should be doing stand-up comedies in comedy bars or be part of the longest running television show Eat Bulaga where jokes need be cracked by its hosts all throughout the show to keep their viewers hooked on their show.
Here lies the dividing line between a comedian and a statesman such as the president. The president opens his mouth not to entertain for he is not an entertainer but to make important pronouncements about the government or issue policy statements about the State. He can crack jokes in the process but not to entertain but simply to break the monotony of presidential speeches.
Now, who is going to call the attention of the president for this misdemeanor when even his spokesperson is trying his best to justify it as just a joke? Is the presidency now just a joke where nothing good could be expected to come out from it?
Speeches, presidential included, need to be laced with jokes. The purpose is to tighten the speaker’s grip of the crowd’s attention. But the jokes to crack are selected. A speaker is not expected to spew green or sex-oriented jokes if your speech pertains to religion such as sermons. In formal gatherings such commencement exercises, do you expect the speaker to be cracking with impunity green or dirty jokes. As what is written in Ecclesiastes, there is always a time for everything.
The rule is more stringent in the case of the president. At all times and in all his speeches, he is expected to submit himself to the more stringent rules as respect for his office and respect for himself. (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org)
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