What’s in a name? Latest addition to the Duterte clan is called ‘Stonefish’

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and husband Manases Carpio hold their baby boy Stonefish March 2 2017 Mans Carpio
Sara Duterte, her husband Manases Carpio and their son Stonefish. Picture courtesy of the proud father

President Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, has given birth to a baby boy — and has announced his name as ‘Stonefish’.

The president said he was “exceedingly excited” about the news of a new grandson, but questioned the choice of name. “I don’t know why she is like that,” he said. “His name is Stonefish, how pitiful for the child. That’s how it is. I don’t know.”

Sara’s husband Manases Carpio announced that Stonefish was born by caesarian section on Thursday lunchtime, weighing 5.3 pounds. “Thank you, Lord, for the gift of life,” he said (disregarding the efforts of the surgeons).

Stonefish is their third child – his older siblings are named Sharky, a girl aged eight, and Stingray, a four-year-old boy.

In a previous interview, Sara said she named her eldest Sharky after the first movie she watched with her husband — presumably that classic of romance Jaws. Why she chose to name her third-born after a grotesque venomous fish has not yet been explained.

Stone Fish at AQWA SMC2006
Stonefish are the most venomous fish in the world, with a sting that can be fatal to humans

Stonefish is President Duterte’s tenth grandchildren.

In a statement about the happy event, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella bizarrely linked the birth to the war on drugs. He said: “The arrival of the chief executive’s newest ‘apo’ Stonefish strengthens his resolve to leave  a legacy of a Philippines safe and secure from drugs and heinous crimes to future generations of Filipinos.”

Stonefish, a member of the family Synanceiidae, are one of the most venomous fish known, with a sting that can be fatal to humans. Stonefish antivenom is the second-most administered in Australia. They are particularly dangerous as they can remain on land, hidden in sand, for up to 24 hours.

landscape soaps neighbours stonefish return
Stonefish was also the name of this -smoking character from the Australian soap opera Neighbours.

The presidential grandson won’t be the first famous Stonefish, with the character Kevin ‘Stonefish’ Rebecchi appearing in Australian soap opera Neighbours. One of his best-remembered storylines involved his brother, Toadfish, persuading him to give up smoking cannabis.