Duterte draws flak for kissing woman on stage at South Korea meet

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's act of kissing a woman on stage during a meeting with the Filipino community in Seoul, South Korea on Sunday prompted criticism on social media.

Before ending his speech during the meeting, Duterte in jest said he would give a book in exchange for a kiss as payment and specifically asked for women in the audience. He gave a book titled "Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church" to an overseas Filipino worker and gave her a kiss on the lips.

"'Wag lalaki, may bayad 'to halik. Handa ka bang makipaghalikan? (Not a man. You have to pay me with a kiss. Are you ready for kissing?" Duterte said while calling to a woman in the audience.

Duterte asked the audience present to not take the kiss seriously, saying it was "just a gimmick" to make the people happy.

The president's "gimmick" drew negative comments on social media with users finding the move "gross" and inappropriate.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes was among those who took to social media to comment the kiss.

“Di ko inaashaan na ganito ang mangingibabaw na eksena at diskusyon matapos ang speech ng pangulo (I did not expect that this scene and discussion would follow the president's speech), he said.

Duterte has in the past been called sexist and a misogynist for his comments on women.

The Palace, as well as the president's political allies, say Duterte loves women and have repeatedly pointed out policies in Davao City that protect women from harassment.




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