MALACAÑANG on Thursday hit former senator Rene Saguisag for branding President Rodrigo Duterte as the “new Macoy,” referring to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Speaking to reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte being dubbed with that moniker was “uncalled for.”

“Whether he’s the ‘new Macoy,’ the President is the ‘new Macoy,’ you know, I think the comparison is too broad and uncalled for,” Abella said.

Saguisag, who was disappointed over the “simple and quiet” commemoration of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, said it was not surprising if Duterte acts like Marcos.

“It’s saddening [to have simple and quiet Edsa celebration] because that was one bright shining moment from which we shocked and awed the whole world,” Saguisag told GMA News.

“Why will you ignore that? But that is their rights because Duterte is the new Macoy (Marcos). So it’s not surprising at all,” he added.

Malacañang opted to hold a “simple and quiet” commemoration of the 31st anniversary of the Edsa uprising on February 25.

Abella said he still respects Saguisag, despite the former senator's tag to Duterte, because he was merely expressing his disappointment over this year's Edsa celebration.

“Well, you know, Senator Saguisag has emotional ties to these things and, you know, we’re not downgrading that,” Abella said.

“I’m just saying that he also feels very strongly and perhaps, he wants it to be celebrated in a more grandiose way,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)