President Rodrigo Duterte told newly-appointed officials of government not to be tempted by corruption and betray the government, saying that he is hoping that they would not start as a Jesus Christ but only to end up as a Judas.
In his speech during the mass oath-taking of new Presidential appointees, Duterte recounted the “fictional” story on how Leonardo da Vinci completed one of his greatest masterpieces, The Last Supper.
According to “legend,” Da Vinci spent seven years painting “The Last Supper” in Milan, Italy.
He interviewed hundreds of models to get just the right ones to use for each disciple, choosing the one to portray Christ first.
Six years later, he looked for someone to be the model for Judas and found a convicted murderer in Rome who fit the part.
When he finished the painting, the man revealed that he was the same person Leonardo had used years earlier to be the model for Christ but had degenerated because of his sin and crime.
But in his recount, Duterte spiked the story with politics and humor.
“It is said that in Florence, he started to paint the Last Supper. The last dinner of Christ with his – mga apostoles niya na puro may sungay naman pala,” the President said.
He said that the Renaissance artist chose and paid models for each of the apostles, “gaya ‘yung si St. Peter, kinuha niyang model si General (Hermogenes) Esperon ganun, binayaran niya,”
Esperon is Duterte’s National Security Adviser.
When the painting was about to be completed, there were only two faces left to paint, that of Jesus Christ and his betrayer Judas Iscariot.
“He was looking for a model of Christ, the far right, and itong si Hudas, the far left,” he said.
It took two years to find the right face, which the President described as “parang Kristo talaga ang mukha, clean face, may gupit — talagang maganda.”
“Ang ika-13th, si Hudas. Hinanap niya sa… sa lahat. Naghanap siya ng mukha talagang evil, pareho kay (Senator Antonio) Trillanes. Naghanap siya ng mukha ni Trillanes. Wala pa man PMA (Philippine Military Academy) noon. Though hindi niya mahanap,” Duterte said to laughter from the audience.
Trillanes is a staunch critic of the President.
Subsequently, Da Vinci found a scavenger who fits the right appearance that he wanted for Judas.
“So he talked to him and said, ‘Do not be insulted, but you know, I’m trying to complete my painting, the only person missing there, the face is Judas.’ Sabi niya, ‘You are not Judas.’ Sabihin ko kay Trillanes ganun, ‘You are not the Judas,” the President said.
“But sabi ni Da Vinci, ‘You are a model for a face of evil.’ Sabihin ko na rin … ‘You are a model… a face of evil,” Duterte said.
So the painting was finished and like in the legend, the man started crying.
When the great painter asked why the man said that he was the one and the same person whom Da Vinci painted as Jesus Christ and became the face of evil because “nagkalat ako sa buhay.”
Drawing parallelism from the said story, President Duterte told the newly-appointed government officials that all those joining government start with the noblest of intention.
“But I hope I will not have to ask you to pose a picture which I will be drawing shortly before I leave the presidency,” he said.
“I hate to see you being a Jesus Christ, only to discover in the end that you are the Judas that I have been also looking for,” Duterte said. (PNA)