Turning 18 is monumental for girls. It is often accompanied by a traditional coming-of-age celebration where the debutante throws a huge grand party complete with her entourage of anything 18, may it be individuals, candles, treasures, among many others.
To commemorate the lady’s age of maturity, a pre-debut pictorial is usually arranged at a hotel lobby, a breathtaking site or a lavish garden, made possible by a team of makeup artists, stylists and photographers. This is what presidential granddaughter Isabelle Duterte and many other debutantes have in the works right before the big day. The only striking difference: her photoshoot took place inside President Rodrigo Duterte’s seat of power, the Malacanang palace.
Take a look at some of her looks:
As soon as the photos made headlines, however, netizens pointed out that the shoot may have violated the law, specifically Executive Order 310 which prescribes “the design and use of the Coat-of-Arms, seal and flag of the President and Vice President of the Philippines”.
Under Section 3 of the EO detailing the permitted and prohibited uses of the heraldic symbols of our country’s top leaders, it is said that the symbols should only be used exclusively by President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo, “except as otherwise provided by law or Presidential issuance”.
The others compared her crimson red gown to his grandfather’s war against drugs, often described as “bloody”.
isabelle duterte, swimming in the blood of slaughtered innocents pic.twitter.com/U9CXKwF1ZL
— zenaida seva (@scorsaguin) December 15, 2017
“Isabelle Duterte swimming in the blood of slaughtered innocents,” one netizen commented.
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.
— Independent Claus 🎅 (@rupertnotholmes) 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) photo shoot. How I wish Kian, at 17, could also wish to be spared from dying under the so-called drug war waged by her grandfather,” another tweets said.
Another netizen raised the issue of the palace’s establishment and expenses being paid for by tax payers.
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
“People are asking why we’re so salty about Isabelle Duterte’s photoshoot. Malacanang is paid for by tax payers. We’re paying for her photo shoot,” a tweet said.
Dapat invited buong Pilipinas sa debut ng anak ni Duterte. Tax naman namin 'yan eh.
— Millennial of Manila (@MillennialOfMNL) December 15, 2017
“Dapat invited buong Pilipinas sa debut ng anak ni Duterte. Tax naman namin ‘yan eh,” another netizen tweeted.
There were some who likened the teenage Duterte to the Marcoses, who were known for their “exercise of privilege”, display of wealth and grandiose parties in the palace.
The President has defended her granddaughter’s pre-debut photo shoot in the palace, calling it a “small matter”. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said that the teenage Duterte is just like any other ordinary citizen that can have their pictures taken at the so-called “People’s Palace”.
What are your thoughts on Isabelle Duterte’s Malacanang Palace pre-debut photoshoot?