PH gov't hits Bette Midler as 'incompetent, gullible' over foreign leaders tweet
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang lashed out at American actress and singer Bette Midler, calling her "incompetent and a gullible talking head...on matters concerning foreign leaders she has no personal knowledge of," after she referenced President Rodrigo Duterte in a tweet about moves to impeach United States President Donald Trump.
"We understand that actress Bette Midler, based on her numerous tweets, is an outspoken critic of her government. She has the right to criticize in her country as an exercise of her freedom of expression," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement on Sunday, November 24.
"She should be circumspect as an influencer and should refrain from giving one-sided and judgmental comments on internal affairs of another sovereign state, especially if her references are false narratives coming from the political opposition and some biased media outlets whose agenda is to besmirch President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his administration before the global stage."
Panelo, who is a Cabinet member, then urged Midler to "revisit" one of her songs, "From A Distance."
He said she should learn from its lyrics "that she may look at a foreign leader of a distant country with a positive outlook."
Panelo also quoted the song: “From a distance there is harmony and it echoes through the land / It's the voice of hope / It's the voice of peace / It's the voice of every man / From a distance we are instruments / Marching in a common band / Playing songs of hope / Playing songs of peace / They are the songs of every man."
In a tweet on Saturday, November 23, Midler had urged Americans to rethink the notion that the impeachment proceedings against Trump don't concern them.
"For Americans who think the impeachment hearings have nothing to do with them, think again. Want to leave the door open to a Hitler? A Stalin? A Castro? A Duterte? A Pol Pot? A Putin? An Assad? A Chavez? A Kim Jong-un? A Mussolini? A Mugabe? An Amin? Trump's the gateway to that," she said.
For Americans who think the impeachment hearings have nothing to do with them, think again. Want to leave the door open to a Hitler? A Stalin? A Castro? A Duterte? A Pol Pot? A Putin? An Assad? A Chavez? A Kim Jong Un? A Mussolini? A Mugabe? An Amin? #Trump’s the gateway to that.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) November 23, 2019
This is not the first time the "Wind Beneath My Wings" singer tweeted about Duterte. In 2017, she called him a "murderous dictator" during Trump's visit for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit. Duterte sang at an event where Trump was a guest. – Rappler.com