What VP Robredo and Her Children Don’t Understand About Visayan Idiom on Duterte’s Smooth Knees Joke
Vice President Leni Robredo reacted negatively on President Rodrigo Duterte’s jokes about her knees. As expected, her children (all girls) and some women rights groups, along with Duterte haters reacted the same way. But for Visayans (Bisaya), they clearly what the president was trying to convey. It’s now time that all of us should also know it.
But first, let’s rewind the events that led to the controversy. Last Wednesday, November 8, both President Duterte and VP Robredo attended the 3rd anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban. In his speech, the president crack a joke which he usually does everywhere he goes. For this particular event, watch the video below from start to end.
As you can hear President Duterte very clearly, he admits joking at VP Robredo especially when talking start to be boring. But before started the joke, he asked permission from the vice president, who was also in the same stage. He said that VP Robredo wear dresses shorter than usual, and he and some male cabinet members could see her smooth knees.
The next day, VP Robredo released a statement condemning President Duterte’s joke on her. “Tasteless remarks and inappropriate advances against women should have no place in our society. We should expect that most of all from our leaders.” She said. Eventually, her three children posted the same message on their respective Facebook pages.
This Wednesday, President Duterte made a speech and entertained some reporters shortly before he left for Malaysia. Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) reporter Marlon Ramos asked him about his comment regarding his joke on VP Robredo which he said many people referred to as ‘inappropriate’ and ‘tasteless.’ The president got upset and scolded him.
But while the Duterte haters took advantage of the situation and crticized the president, many Visayan netizens (Bisaya) said that in their culture, there is an idiom about a person having smooth knees. According to them, people with smooth knees are lazy or have no job at all. In that case, should VP Robredo and her children really be offended? You judge.