Is Duterte serious or just joking? Palace says 'use your common sense'

Is Duterte serious or just joking? Palace says 'use your common sense'

Is Duterte serious or just joking? Palace says 'use your common sense'

"Miss Ressa is entitled to legal remedies under the law and she has her lawyers, so I don't think she has a problem with respect to losing her liberty because she is precisely going to post bail", Panelo said in a Palace briefing. "It's the opposite, so obviously there was no logic there, so he was joking". "As he said he does it because usually events are boring so he gives some jokes to make us laugh", Panelo said. "Even Presidents are entitled to jokes", Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters late on Monday.

Rappler has been hit by a string of government efforts to shut it down since the site took a critical tone on Duterte, in particular his internationally condemned drug war that has killed thousands.

It was the first conviction in Duterte's brutal war on drugs, which has killed upwards of 5,000 people - mostly the urban poor - and even prompted a preliminary investigation by the global criminal court for crimes against humanity.

In the speech, the President complained about the punishing schedule of last month's summit of Southeast Asian leaders in Singapore, where he created a buzz for skipping four meetings and a gala dinner to take power naps.

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"Medicinal marijuana, yes, because it is really an ingredient of modern medicine" Duterte said.

But in an interview with reporters, he said he was not serious when he said the statement.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III rejected the proposal to legalize marijuana for medical use as he feared people wanted it legalized but not for medical purposes.

An award-winning Philippine journalist who along with the online news service she heads has been sued for tax evasion has declared her innocence and was freed on bail Monday after turning herself in for arrest.

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Mr. Pimentel added that it was just a "joke he made up in relation to his story that the schedule he was being required to follow was a punishing one, from 8:30 a.m. up to midnight". "So we will have to live with whatever he is for the next four years or so", Lacson said.

Duterte's comment was bound to upset families of the victims of his crackdown on narcotics.

The charges are "part of the Duterte administration´s campaign to harass, threaten and intimidate critics", said Human Rights Watch Philippines researcher Carlos Conde.

"There is a disconnect between what the president admitted to do and what the president said he will do to those who use drugs", he said.

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