Palace hits US actress for calling PRRD detestable leader

MANILA — Malacañang on Sunday chastised actress Bette Midler for classifying President Rodrigo Duterte among the world’s most detestable leaders along with US President Donald Trump.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that while Midler had the right to criticize Trump in her own country, she had no right to speak about leaders of foreign countries including Duterte.

“We understand that actress Bette Midler, based on her numerous tweets, is an outspoken critic of her government. She has the right to criticize in her country as an exercise of her freedom of expression,” Panelo said.

“She, however, has no right as she is incompetent and a gullible talking head as well, on matters concerning foreign leaders she has no personal knowledge of,” he added.

Panelo said Midler should be “circumspect” as an influencer and should refrain from giving “one-sided” and “judgmental” comments on another state’s internal affairs.

He noted that this was particularly true if Midler’s references come from the political opposition and some biased media outlets meant to destroy the Duterte’s reputation.

The Palace official, meanwhile, advised Midler to revisit the lyrics to her song “From a Distance” when making comments about a foreign leader.

“We suggest that she revisits her famous song ‘From a Distance’ and learn from its lyrics that she may look at a foreign leader of a distant country with a positive outlook,” Panelo said.

“‘From a distance there is harmony/ and it echoes through the land/ It’s the voice of hope/ It’s the voice of peace,’ It’s the voice of every man/ From a distance we are instruments/ Marching in common band/ Playing songs of hope/ Playing songs of peace/ They are the songs of every man,’” he added, quoting lyrics from Midler’s song.

In a Tweet on Saturday, Midler bared her thoughts on the ongoing impeachment hearings on the US President and why it should be a concern for Americans.

“For Americans who think the impeachment hearings have nothing to do with them, think again. Want to leave the door open to a Hitler? A Stalin? A Castro? A Duterte? A Pol Pot? A Putin? An Assad? A Chavez? A Kim Jong Un? A Mussolini? A Mugabe? An Amin? #Trump’s the gateway to that,” Midler said in her Tweet.

In 2017, Midler called Duterte a “murderous dictator” in reaction to him serenading Trump at the Asean Summit gala dinner in Manila.  Azer Parrocha / PNA –