Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s loose tie, saying Duterte dressed up for comfort. This was in response to a journalist’s Duterte unkempt remarks when he met Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Wednesday.
“PRRD dresses up for comfort, he is not particular on unsettling other people,” Panelo said.
Czech journalist Pavel Vondra posted a photo of the Duterte and Medvedev showing the President’s loose tie and open collar. Vondra also included some comments of Russian netizens over Duterte’s fashion choice.
“Rodrigo #Duterte showed up a bit unkempt for the meeting with the Russian PM Medvedev in Moscow and the Russian internet is having a blast: “Did he drink all night?”, “Did he just leave the pub?” “Do Filipinos know what a (state visit) protocol is?” people ask,” Vondra said in a tweet.
Even Filipino netizens criticized Duterte’s look.
“Guy always looks like someone forced him out of bed,” one tweet read while the other Filipino said, “nakakahiya (embarrassing)!!!!!”
Is Duterte unkempt because of a loose tie?
Malacañang said on Thursday Duterte loosened his tie because he felt “suffocated” by it.
“PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) does not look unkempt. What those kibitzers refer to is the way he wore his tie. He loosened it up. He feels suffocated and very uncomfortable if the tie is tightly in place in the collar,” Panelo said.
Panelo also clarified that the President did not mean to disrespect the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
He also added that Duterte was”very hygienic.”
“His body emits a refreshing scent as observed by people who meet up close to him,” he added.
Duterte is known for wearing more casual than formal clothes. He also broke some formal wear rules, such as rolling up his sleeves of his Barong Tagalog (national dress of the Philippines) during formal events like in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2016.