Contestants participate in the press presentation of the Miss World Philippines 2015 pageant at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Paranaque City on Tuesday. The Philippine edition of the beauty pageant will have its coronation night at the same venue on October 18.  (MNS photo)

Contestants participate in the press presentation of the Miss World Philippines 2015 pageant at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Paranaque City on Tuesday. The Philippine edition of the beauty pageant will have its coronation night at the same venue on October 18. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday distanced President Benigno Aquino III from the “twerking” controversy following an appearance of sexy dancers after the swearing in of new Liberal Party (LP) members in Sta. Cruz, Laguna on Thursday.

“In this particular case alam naman po nating walang kinalaman ang Pangulo diyan. Wala ho siya doon sa vicinity,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told state-run radio dzRB in an interview.

She added: “The President had no idea that it was happening.”

Valte said that the President does not condone such acts.

“I think we were pretty categorical that the President will not and has never condoned any action that in any way would demean women, that would debase women…” she said.

Valte, meanwhile, declined to comment on the President’s take on the LP’s investigation on the incident.

An online petition has been put up asking President Aquino, as chairman of the LP, to apologize for the incident.

“While the President is chairman of the Liberal Party, I think hayaan na po natin ‘yung partidong umaksyon, at sinasabi naman po nila nga na magpapatawag po sila ng kanilang sariling imbestigasyon,” she added.

LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas on Friday said that the LP has already launched an investigation on the incident.

Roxas attended the event, but he clarified that he was already in a different location when sexy dancers called “Playgirls” performed.

An earlier report said the event’s emcee declared that the sexy girls’ performance was a present from Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman and senatorial aspirant Francis Tolentino for Laguna Rep. Benjie Agarao, who was celebrating his 58th birthday.

One dancer from the group Playgirls extended her thanks to Tolentino. “Thank you kay Chairman Tolentino at happy birthday kay Congressman Agarao,” she said.

Tolentino has denied that the “gift” came from him.

“I was just a guest at the birthday party. I did not bring any dancer/singer. The emcee probably got misinformed,” he said in a text message to media.(MNS)