PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at the wrong person Tuesday night in his running feud with the ABS-CBN network, which, he claimed did not return his money after refusing to air his ads during the 2016 campaign.
He named actor Gabby Concepcion, instead of Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez 3rd, chairman of the broadcast giant.
“You, Gabby Concepcion. You are after the money, you son of a bitch,” Duterte said during the anniversary rites of the Department of Justice.
Before the mix-up, Duterte mentioned Lopez when he said, “You should have been hostaged, Gabby Lopez.”
Duterte was at that point recounting the 1989 hostage-taking, rape and murder of an Australian missionary, in his early days as mayor of Davao City. The rape joke he made about the Australian missionary during the 2016 campaign grabbed headlines around the world.
The third time he referred to “Gabby,” the President got the correct surname, but not before his slip fired up social media with comments that were mostly humorous.
“That’s true. I know, because when I ran for President, not a lot of people donated money to my campaign. So last minute…you listen, Gabby Lopez. I placed an advertisement on ABS-CBN. You accepted my P2 million and you never showed my advertisement,” he said.
The President’s confusion probably came after he said opposition senator Francis Pangilinan was a “friend” whom he respected. Pangilinan is the husband of singer-actress Sharon Cuneta, Concepcion’s ex-wife
Upon mentioning Pangilinan, Duterte recalled the story of his daughter, Sara, then in Grade 6, requesting to see Sharon Cuneta. He said he relayed the request through Pangilinan.
TV soap plug
Actor Gabby Concepcion kept his cool with his reactions on social media and managed to plug his popular television soap opera.
Concepcion’s first post on Instagram Wednesday afternoon said: “Lol (laughing out loud). Na-ospital bigla dahil sa (I had to go to the hospital because of) mistaken identity #mistaken #accident #ikaanimnautos #stray #wrong #wrongtarget #Philippines.”
He followed it with, “Rome…tinamaan ng bala (hit by a bullet). Na-ospital bigla dahil sa (hospitalized because of) mistaken identity #mistaken #accident #ikaaanimnautos #stray #wrong #wrongtarget #Philippines #gmanewstv.”
Both times, he was alluding to his popular afternoon soap “Ika-6 na Utos” (“The Sixth Commandment”) on GMA Network that just won him an acting award in Seoul, South Korea.
An hour later, Concepcion good-naturedly posted, “We all make mistakes. Thank you for watching Ika-6 na utos, sir President. #DU30 #ika6nautos #forgive #goodvibesonly #gmadrama #gmanewstv,” jokingly assuming that Mr. Duterte was a fan of his show.
The last post has generated 915 likes as of Tuesday afternoon. His followers picked up on their idol’s good-humored reaction and posted similar comments.
“Gabby is synonymous to Gabby Concepcion. I think you made the name Gabby a trademark for all generations. That’s why I named my son after you,” user “maryvinne” commented.
There was one comment that stood out from the rest: “Nahahawig kasi si @concepciongabby kay Paolo Duterte, mestizohin. Pag ginawa ang biopic ni DU30 ikaw po ang bagay sa role ni Polong (Duterte’s son Paolo Duterte looks like Gabby Concepcion. When Duterte’s biopic is made, you should get the role of Paolo),” said chuckygalaxy.
The Manila Times tried to get comments from Concepcion on the President’s blunder. GMA Network’s corporate communications office said Concepcion’s social media posts were all that he wanted to say on the matter.
WITH LLANESCA T. PANTI