Lambasted on multiple occasions over lewd jokes directed at women, President Duterte will be the first to obey the recently signed “Bawal Bastos” law, which imposes stiffer penalties on gender-based sexual attacks, Malacañang said yesterday. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Republic Act 11313 or the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act demonstrated how Duterte recognized the need to prevent gender-based sexual harassment. “Since the President signed that law, it means that he recognizes the need [for] that law. And since he is the chief enforcer of all laws of the Philippines, he will be the first one to obey the law,” Panelo said. When Duterte cracks lewd jokes, he is not being obscene, Panelo said, and that the jokes are meant to entertain his audience and not to offend. “First of all, you’ve assumed that the President is bastos (lewd), naging bastos (that he was ever lewd). He never was bastos. When he cracks jokes, it was intended to make people laugh, never to offend,” Panelo said. “If you will just listen to the jokes of the President talagang matatawa ka eh, matatawa ka (it will really make you laugh). Audience … ‘di ba, they give a hearty laughter. Hindi naman bastos (it’s not lewd),” the Palace official said.