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#DuterteDuwag trends on Twitter after Duterte backs out of debate against Carpio

By Bim Santos Published May 07, 2021 3:07 pm

The hashtag #DuterteDuwag has been the top trending topic on Twitter after President Rodrigo Duterte backed out against debating retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

Duterte, who issued the challenge to Carpio, instead designated palace spokesman Harry Roque as his representative.

Roque said he agreed to take on the debate.

“Ang sabi po ni Presidente tinatalaga niya po ang inyong abang lingkod na makipag-debate kay retired Justice Antonio Carpio. Tinanggap ko naman po,” Roque said today in a televised address.

Roque said Duterte was ready to debate but he heeded the advice of his cabinet against participating in it.

Roque said the cabinet contended that the public will not benefit from the debate, and that whatever Duterte says will be taken as government policy.

Mere piece of paper
Duterte dared Carpio to a debate about the West Philippine Sea during his Wednesday address. Carpio has been a staunch advocate of defending the country’s territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea.

Duterte, however, has dismissed the Hague ruling upholding the country’s claims over the area, calling it as a mere scrap of paper.

“Papel lang yan. Itatapon ko yan,” said Duterte.

“Itong Carpio, sulat nang sulat ng mga decision para sa kanyang utak lang. Isa ring ugok ito. Supreme Court justice pareho man tayo abugado. Gusto mo magdebate tayo?” Duterte said.

Carpio then released a statement after Duterte’s address accepting his challenge.

“I gladly accept the challenge anytime at the President’s convenience,” Carpio said.

The Philippine Bar Association has also volunteered to host the debate.

As of press time, more and more Twitter users are harping on Duterte’s decision to back out.

“You initiated the debate in the first place and then backed out just like that?” Twitter user Riyan Portuguez posted.

“He literally proves us correct everyday & that should be enough to make us work harder as we have a lot of things to do to make sure 2022 onwards will be a much better Philippines for everyone,” Twitter user Ryan said.

Twitter user @zhai_361 posted an image with the text “When you don’t keep your word, you lose people’s trust.”

Luis Gabriel posted a clip of Duterte’s challenge to Carpio, saying “Roque and his ilk can use whatever justification they want to excuse #DuterteDuwag from engaging Carpio in a debate, but let the records show that it was Duterte himself who challenged Carpio to the said debate.”