Social distancing measures? Why Duterte’s photo with newlyweds is gaining online buzz

March 1, 2022 - 7:25 PM
Duterte in wedding
President Rodrigo Duterte attending the wedding of Rodrigo "Rigo" Duterte II at Dusit Thani Hotel in Davao City on this photo shared by Nice Print Photography on March 1, 2022. (Photo from Facebook/Nice Print Photography & Exige Weddings)

Physical distancing first?

This was the quip of some Filipinos on the viral photo of President Rodrigo Duterte during the wedding of his grandson, Rodrigo “Rigo” Duterte II, in Davao City on Sunday.

The chief executive was pictured with Rigo and his bride, Yssa Labrador, at the Dusit Thani Hotel in Davao City.

According to reports, this wedding was the first major gathering of the Duterte family since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in 2020.

Rigo is the son of Rep. Paolo Duterte (Davao City, First District) and his former wife Lovely Sangkola.

Other members of the first family who attended the event were vice presidential bet Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, as well as their mother Elizabeth Zimmerman.

The president reportedly excused himself after the ceremony since he needed to fly back to Malacañan.

Meanwhile, his picture with the newlyweds was shared by a news outlet which immediately became viral.

As of this writing, it has 3,600 reactions on Facebook and over 220 shares.

Some Filipinos noticed the significant distance of the president from the newlyweds, unlike the other family member in the photo.

“Social distancing hehehe,” a Facebook user wrote.

“Social distancing man si Tatay,” another online user said.

“Social distancing (pa rin si) tatay Digs,” a different Filipino likewise said.

Another Facebook user claimed that the president must be conscious of the bride’s wedding gown.

“Yung gown (kasi), ayaw niya maapakan kaya napalayo,” she commented.

Under the government’s minimum public health standards, Filipinos have to keep distance from each other for at least one meter apart as a means to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

This is nearly equivalent to a motorcycle’s length, according to the health department.

Physical distancing is done to mitigate the risk of catching the virus, which can be transmitted through fine airborne particles or respiratory droplets emitted when one talks, shouts, sings, coughs, sneezes or exhales.

The virus can also be transmitted by asymptomatic or individuals who do not exhibit symptoms but are infected with COVID-19.