DAVAO CITY–The election lawyer who called public school teachers and members of the Board of Election Inspectors “forgetful or stupid” did not only refuse to make a public apology but also literally laughed at calls for her to resign.
“Oh really? Funny. Question na to? Do I really need to answer that one? Kinahanglan nako na tubagon? Unsa man ground nga para mag-resign ko? Kato lang (What is the ground for me to resign? Just because of that)?” said lawyer Aimee Ampoloquio Thursday when interviewed by journalists at her office.
Ampoloquio said there is no reason for her to resign or make a public apology or listen to criticisms.
Her statement, she said, was not sweeping but was only directed at those who experienced problem during the the final testing and sealing of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines last Monday.
As she was trying to make a point, Ampoloquio said “wala man gi-general (it was not a general statement),” adding “O, diba? Bayot kaayo akong pagkatubag (Wasn’t that a very gay answer?).”
Ampoloquio also blamed the journalists who interviewed her, saying she was not aware that she was still being recorded up to the part where she dropped the controversial statement.
A reported asked her if she thought the news was malicious and she said “yes, I think so.”
“I was not aware that it was being recorded because the formal questions raised during the interview were already answered,” she said.
Here is the full interview with Ampoloquio on Thursday:
Karlos Manlupig, a correspondent for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the online news portal Rappler said it was unbelievable for Ampoloquio to say that she was not aware that she was not being recorded.
“No. She said that during the interview. Hindi yon kwentuhan, interview yon (it was still part of the interview),” said Manlupig.
The 9:47 minutes interview by Manlupig and reporters from Davao Today and Radyo ni Juan with Ampoloquio after Monday’s FTS could, however, prove that the election officer was lying about not being aware that she was being recored.
Note that at 6:30 minutes of the interview, Radyo ni Juan reporter Zea Correa sought for Ampoloquio’s comment on the observation that some teachers assisting the FTS appeared unprepared.
Ampoloquio said: “We trained them well. Next election, we will no longer see each other. We trained them. We tried our best. We had a two-day training and live-in seminar apart from the refresher course.”
And at 6:52 minutes of the interview, the election officer said: “It’s either limtanon gyud kaayo sila or bugok gyud kaayo sila (either they are very forgetful or very stupid).”
Here is the full interview:
An angry public school teacher said Ampoloquio’s statement was an attack on her and her fellow teachers.
“I personally take offense at this kind of attack against us and against our profession. This is so low but I personally would like to demand an apology from her as I feel disrespected and offended by it,” a teacher, who only identified herself as Maribeth, said.
Prof. Mae Fe Templa, a nominee of Act Teachers partylist, said Ampoloquio must issue a public apology for insulting the teachers.
“The failure of the PCOS machines is the issue here and the inadequacy of the Comelec’s preparation for the conduct of the elections, including training teachers or the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) who are new to the technology,” said Templa.
Elenito Escalante, Act Teachers Davao Region Union President, said they are saddened by how Ampoloquio may have forgotten her lessons in good manners and right conduct (GMRC).
“Teachers who are serving as Board of Election Inspectors are not forgetful or stupid, fellow government employees should not just blame each other for no justifiable reason,” Escalante said. | NewsDesk