President Benigno Aquino 3rd will not apologize for his remarks explaining why he was not attending the wake of slain transgender Jennifer Laude.
Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office made the announcement on Saturday, a day after Laude, 26, was laid to rest in Olongapo City.
Laude, a transgender, was allegedly killed by US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton.
The President was quoted as saying that: “In general, I don’t attend wakes of people I don’t know . . . I’m not comfortable in trying to condole with people who don’t know me.”
Coloma said the President did not meant to insult the Laude family. “He just expressed his sentiments. And based on what we’ve gathered, a great percentage of our people agreed with the President’s decision.”
Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon had taken the President to task for making “the most callous and insensitive remark that any President could give.”
“Instead of offering condolences to the Laude family just as any self-respecting statesman would do, President Aquino decided to blurt out these obtuse statements. Apparently, he (Aquino) is not content with brandishing his administration’s powerlessness in failing to assert for Private Pemberton’s custody, he even has the gall to insult the family of the victim,” Ridon said.
“This is a very low blow, Mr. President—an act unbecoming of any public official. He sounded like a ranting privileged haciendero teenager,” he added.