President Rodrigo Duterte delivered a speech in Davao City with the presidential seal placed upside down on his rostrum, but Malacañang apologized for the mistake and said there was no intention to embarrass Duterte.
During his speech on July 14 at the 11th Ambassador’s Tour Philippine Reception in Davao City, his presidential seal was inverted on his rostrum.
“An error was committed in the installation of the presidential seal at an event in Davao City yesterday (Friday). There was, however, no attempt to embarrass the President,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“A careful study determined the incident as an act of omission. Appropriate measures have been taken against those responsible,” he said.
Abella said offices concerned in preparing for the event have already apologized.
“All offices involved in presidential visits and coverage have, upon meticulous review, instituted procedures to prevent the occurrence of a similar incident. All offices concerned sincerely apologized for the incident and renewed the shared commitment to uphold the highest standard of service and support for the President and all his engagements,” he said.
He also said that office involved in arranging the presidential visits already have procedures to follow to avoid such an occurrence in the future.
Teodoro Locsin Jr, the Philippine ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted that former President Cory Aquino fired an officer who committed the same mistake.
“This may seem like nitpicking but Cory fired the officer who made a mistake that ‘small.’ Either get it perfectly right or get out,” said Locsin.
This may seem like nitpicking but Cory fired the officer who made a mistake that "small." Either get it perfectly right or get out. https://t.co/8pZrRbITz0
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) July 14, 2017
Locsin served as Aquino’s spokesperson.
The presidential seal, which was first used during President Manuel Roxas’ administration, should have the words “Sagisag ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas” at the upper part of the seal with the three stars at the bottom.
Writer and historian Manuel L. Quezon III was among those who noticed the upside down presidential seal and tweeted about it. Several Twitter users also reacted to his tweet.
Meanwhile the presidential seal is upside down. pic.twitter.com/gweHHybYEM
— Manuel L. Quezon III (@mlq3) July 14, 2017
Former Aquino presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte offered to fix the seal’s position by turning the photo, with President Duterte in it, upside down.
Here I fixed it for you pic.twitter.com/8zvgOqyriK
— Abi Valte (@Abi_Valte) July 14, 2017
Another one said that this is probably the change that the people are waiting for.
It's the change they thought we're all waiting for.
— Victoria Bracken (@VRuizBracken) July 15, 2017
Someone said that this could possibly mean the Filipinos are “upside down.”
Maybe we ARE in the upside down.
— Karen Lumbo (@kclumbo) July 14, 2017
Another chided just how the “best and the brightest” are working in Malacañang.
It's because they hired the "best and the brightest" na in Malakanyang kaya nagkakaganyan…. Hahahahaha.
— BongPhillips555 (@BongPhillips555) July 14, 2017
Some Twitter users pointed out that the upside down presidential seal could be a “symbolism,” just like what Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson previously said.
It's symbolism. Lol
— SHAWARMA (@phasesofdepth) July 14, 2017
— diwaenergy (@diwaenergy) July 14, 2017
Symbolism, as Mocha would say 😂
— Stel Smby (@StelSmby) July 14, 2017
However, other Twitter users also called out Quezon, who used to be the Undersecretary of the Presidential Communications Development Strategic Planning Office during the Aquino administration, for several mistakes involving the Philippine flag during PNoy’s administration.
While you guys didn't do anything about this when you were still in Malacañang? pic.twitter.com/1VcEOnUsGF
— T-Rex (@rexfactor21) July 14, 2017
— kim indar (@KimIndar) July 14, 2017