(Warning: humour, sarcasm, slaps-in-the-face loaded, not for the die-hard.)
While Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that this is not a matter of entitlement since the president himself did not avail of the palace to be his abode, so there should be nothing wrong to have Isabelle Duterte’s pre-debut photos taken inside the presidential palace, public opinion begged to differ.
“The President is entitled by law to live in Malacañang but opted not to. So his relatives, especially his own (granddaughter), can have their photos taken in Malacañang,” said Roque.
However, some said the photo shoot of the young Duterte may have violated Executive Order 310, signed by former president Gloria Arroyo, that prescribes the design and use of the coat-of-arms, seal and flag of the president and vice president of the Philippines, and for other purposes, as one of the photos showed the official seal of the president of the Philippines. The EO Duterte’s ally signed in 2004 said the symbols are exclusively meant for the use of the President and Vice President of the Philippines and no other officials.
Beyond what laws may have or have not been violated, netizens and activists make meaning of the photoshoot in the people’s daily lives and current events in the country (e.g. the drug war, homelessness, hunger, poverty, strife post-Marawi conflict, etc.). At the end of their fingertips were 280 characters in social media platform Twitter as quick reactions to the photo shoot avalanched after photos of the December 14 photo shoot were posted online, probably hoping to generate likes and spread good vibes hashtag blessed. Most were in agreement with the observation that it was ostentatious, a display of luxury, power and privilege. And that word that Imelda Marcos being herself put in the English dictionary: imeldific.
While a hundred homeless camp out near Malacañang to protest demolition and to defend their rights https://t.co/Rf4Tz0zaHZ
— Sarah Elago (@sarahelago) December 15, 2017
"Kung di tayo makakapag photoshoot sa Malacanang, aba e
What are we in power for?"
— Vencer Crisostomo (@venzie) December 16, 2017
Isabelle Duterte thinks we should focus on important issues. Surely if your lolo thought that your family's "humble lifestyle" was a campaign issue then, then your opulence is newsworthy now.
— Kip Oebanda (@kipoebanda) December 16, 2017
Isabelle Duterte asks all of us to spare her, a 17-year-old person, from hateful comments following a distasteful (and legally problematic) photoshoot.
How I wish Kian, at 17, could also wish to be spared from dying under the so-called drug war waged by her grandfather.
— YOLO PASCUAL 🇵🇭🏳️🌈 (@rupertnotholmes) December 16, 2017
ISABELLE: I am just a girl standing in front of a boy asking you not to attack me.
KIAN: Tama na po! May test pa ako bukas!
— Diplomatic Duterte (@PCduterte) December 16, 2017
People can’t help noticing the ‘blood red’ gown.
isabelle duterte, swimming in the blood of slaughtered innocents pic.twitter.com/U9CXKwF1ZL
— not scorsaguin (@scorsaguin) December 15, 2017
Just in: Presidential granddaughter Isabelle Duterte poses for a pre-debut photo shoot inside Malacañang.
RED. Opulence. Glamour. Power.
RED. JUST LIKE THE BLOOD OF EJK VICTIMS. pic.twitter.com/I9o2HIwtCm
— Rei Hontanar (@iHateRei) December 15, 2017
The blood of thousands of EJK victims looks good on Isabelle Duterte. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/GqkSVC3nAu
— 𝐌𝐢𝐬𝐬 𝐊𝐫𝐢𝐳𝐳𝐲 (@krizzy_kalerqui) December 15, 2017
Comparisons were made, of course, on who wore it better.
MUKHA NG PILIPINAS NGAYON. PAMPAKAIN NA SA ILANG MILYONG PAMILY PAMPADEBUT LANG NG ISA. pic.twitter.com/yotx2tSWge
— bryle #42KabataanPartylist (@BryleLeano) December 15, 2017
People in Marawi trying to live through the day. Isabelle Duterte at Malacañan Palace, posing in a blood red gown, getting ready to celebrate.The Dictator’s grand daughter lives a lavish life while the poor can barely survive.Just like the Marcoses,they are detached from reality pic.twitter.com/94nQwCrr5A
— Bib M (@bibmacasaet) December 15, 2017
Why blame her? Isabelle Duterte may have only been following another person’s (other people’s) footsteps after all…
I'm so glad Isabelle Duterte had her pre-debut photo shoot in Malacañang. I was worried they had to do it somewhere substandard. So fancy and posh. 😍
— Raposas KR (@konradproject) December 15, 2017
— katrinastuartsantiago (@radikalchick) December 15, 2017
Remember how imee marcos partied like a princess in Malacañang?
— Stee Said So (@steelawake) December 15, 2017
This is so reminiscent of the lavish lifestyle the Marcoses flaunted, all the the parties and balls in Malacañang. https://t.co/2lmxQe78N5
— joan of quark (@woIfswoods) December 15, 2017
I think she got her peg right here: pic.twitter.com/IkwOx3v39f
— BrujaDelDemonio (@BrujaDelDemonio) December 15, 2017
Others were simply just in disagreement with the styling and creatives.
— Patrick Tayo 🌱 (@kaypatricktayo) December 15, 2017
Isabelle Duterte having her pre-debut shoot at Malacanang? Tasteless.
— Mela Suarez (@melavsyou) December 15, 2017
I can’t believe Isabelle Duterte made couture look like ukay https://t.co/YaNqoZog1z
— BUJO WORKSHOP @ CBTL 6.01 (@bellemaps) December 15, 2017
Netizens can be certain their reactions reached Isabelle.
‼️‼️woot‼️‼️ @isabelleduterte may be contacted to help you use Malacañang Palace for events, like your birthday celeb, anniversary, reunion or just a photo op / selfie / groupie. get in touch with her now! pic.twitter.com/NgskUaM1T4
— WhatAWasteofAdMoney (@wawam) December 15, 2017
This is my real account, teh. Don't need to show my face to prove a point.
Inyo Malacanang? Kapal ng mukha n'yo.
— Ping Guerrero ❌ (@gabrant001) December 15, 2017
isabelle duterte blocked me for calling ‘em out on using the malacañang for her debut photoshoot
your response (or lack thereof) speaks volumes, sis.
— chesca (@chescagonzales_) December 15, 2017
Others in praise for the photo shoot got a piece of mind from the naysayers as well.
It took three decades of autocratic mayorship, thousands of dead bodies, billions in shabu shipments, tens of provincial oligarchs, a death squad, an interred dictator, vindictive pretenders, & 1 unsigned waiver. #WhatDidItTake https://t.co/e1O3X6mhDc
— Tenacious B (@peminista) December 15, 2017
There were also tweets in defense of the negative reactions.
Si Kris Aquino nga, who's a taxpayer and a Presidential sister got called out for using a presidential helicopter tapos, Isabelle Duterte, who's barely 18 and not even taxpayer can enjoy a life of privilege? Lol, reevaluate your disposition.
— 𝐢𝐧𝐧𝐚 (@innathegreat) December 15, 2017
People asking why we're salty about Isabelle Duterte's photoshoot. Malacanang is paid for by tax payers. We're paying for her photoshoot.
— Roxie (@roxieyramirez) December 15, 2017
And since Roque said, “Gaya siya ng ordinaryong mamamayan na pwede ring mag-picture-picture sa Malacañang [She’s like any ordinary citizen who can take pictures inside Malacañang]” and with the tips from Isabelle herself, netizens looked only happy to oblige.
HELLO, COLLEGE ORGS!!!!
READY NA BA KAYO SA ORG ANNIVERSARY PHOTOSHOOT NIYO SA MALACAÑANG?!?!?!
IF PWEDE SI ISABELLE DUTERTE, BAKIT TAYO HINDI????
ANO YUN SIYA LANG PWEDE MAGPALIT NG MAGANDANG DP?????? GANDA SIYA?!?!?????
— Von Yacob (@heycaloy) December 15, 2017
— not scorsaguin (@scorsaguin) December 15, 2017
SAKTO! WALA PANG VENUE AT PAGKAIN SA BUROL NG LAHAT NG PINATAY NG ESTADONG TO SA TOKHANG. pic.twitter.com/XublVw73e8
— bryle #42KabataanPartylist (@BryleLeano) December 16, 2017
Why not just give the people invitations?
hindi ba tayo invited sa debut ni isabelle duterte? tutal galing namang sa tax natin yon lol
— xia (@jdtrash) December 15, 2017
Ready na kaming pumunta sa debut ni Isabelle Duterte! tara let's go!! pic.twitter.com/5Lm4u2zipH
— 𝖑𝖎𝖑 𝖞𝖆𝖜𝖆 (@zon_lee) December 15, 2017