The Philippine president kissed a woman on stage in front of a large audience during an event in South Korea. The woman, who was attending the event for overseas Filipino workers, had been invited on stage and given a free book. She laughed awkwardly and looked physically uncomfortable during the kiss
Philippine president criticised for kissing woman on stage
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has come under fire for kissing a woman on the lips during a live televised event.
Duterte, who is known for verbal outbursts and misogynistic antics, invited two women onstage to give them a copy of his book during a town-hall style meeting Sunday with Filipino workers in South Korea.
He hugged the first woman and gave her a kiss on the cheek before gesturing for the second woman to kiss him on the lips, the BBC reported.
In a back and forth, he asked if she could explain the antic to her husband and when she replied “yes,” he told her to “make him jealous.”
Duterte then leaned in to plant a kiss on her lips.
“Don’t take it seriously. It’s just for fun, a gimmick,” he told the cheering throng.
“President Duterte acted like a feudal king who thinks that being the president is an entitlement to do anything that he pleases,” said Sen. Risa Hontiveros according to the Associated Press. “Even if the act was consensual, it was the president, possessed of awesome, even intimidating, power, who initiated it.”
Philippines women’s rights group Gabriela described the “macho spectacle” as the “disgusting theatrics of a misogynist president.”
The woman, who was identified as Bea Kim by the Philippine News Agency and has two daughters, said there was “no malice” in the kiss and that it didn’t mean anything “except to entertain and make other Filipinos in the gathering happy.”
The 73-year-old Duterte, who is leading a violent crackdown against illegal drugs in his country, has come under fire for sexist remarks before.
In April 2016, he spoke to an election campaign rally about the 1989 murder and rape of a female Australian missionary in Davao, where he was mayor at the time.
“I was angry because she was raped,” he said. “That’s one thing. But she was so beautiful; the mayor should have been first, what a waste.” His office apologized for the statement.
Earlier this year, he told Filipino soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in the vagina. He’s also publicly kissed women in the past, including at campaign rallies.
Duterte has been very public about having affairs during his marriage to his ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, with whom he has three children. He now lives with his common-law wife Cielito Avanceña, with whom he has a daughter.