Palace shrugs off PNoy’s ‘undiplomatic mannerism’

Posted at 10/21/12 1:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang downplayed the allegedly “undiplomatic” gesture that President Benigno Aquino III showed during the visit of Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying.

In an interview with radio dzRB, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that at the end of the day, “the President will concentrate on the outcome of the meeting.”

What matters are the first-hand accounts of what happened during the meeting, and not the criticisms over “one photo,” Valte added.

The meeting was an important one since the country is in a maritime dispute with China.

Aquino was photographed on Friday offering his right hand to Fu Ying. His left hand, however, was in his pocket.

This is supposedly a diplomatic impasse, with most nations abroad raising their eyebrows over a gesture. In Malaysia, for example, hands in pockets “signify anger.”

This is supposedly not the first time that Aquino showed the “gesture” as it has become a mannerism of sorts for him.

Malacanang has a protocol officer, Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Miguel Perez-Rubio.