President Duterte brushed aside criticisms of his kissing a married woman in public in South Korea, saying those who are making an issue out of it are envious and should change their dentures.
Duterte to critics: You’re all just envious
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - June 7, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — They’re just jealous.

President Duterte brushed aside criticisms of his kissing a married woman in public in South Korea, saying those who are making an issue out of it are envious and should change their dentures.

Duterte, who has drawn flak for his sexist remarks, said kissing women has been his style since he was mayor of Davao City.

“That’s my style. Find your own style. There is nothing wrong in a simple kiss,” he said in Filipino, adding, “Inggit lang kayo. Sabihin mo palitan nila ang pustiso nila (You’re just envious. Tell them to change their dentures).”

“During the campaign in my mayorship days, I kiss every woman there, lips to lips...Not only smack. Other women really wanted romance,” he told reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 Tuesday night.

But Duterte was irritated when asked how his common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña reacted upon learning of the kiss. 

“That’s a question of perverts. Why do you have to dwell on kissing?...Next question,” the President said.

Duterte also urged women to help him explain that his gesture was just “natural” for a politician. 

“You do not know me. I’m a small town political warlord, in politics, not in arms,” he added. 

Duterte said he was willing to step down from office “if all women here” sign a petition for him to resign. 

While Duterte has tough words for his critics, he won’t pick a fight with his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, whom he said might take him to task for kissing a woman in public. 

The President said he would stay in Manila for a few days and let the issue pass. He usually goes home to Davao City during weekends. 

“You can ask my daughter. My daughter is really the jealous type. She might put me to task. That’s why I do not want to go home yet. Let’s calm things down first. We cannot quarrel with our daughters,” he said.

“Pa-cool off muna ako dito ng ilang araw sa Maynila (I will cool off first for a few days here in Manila),” he added.

‘We enjoyed it’

The woman whom Duterte kissed has been identified as Bea Kim.

Kim said she did not feel violated by the President’s gesture. She also claimed that meeting the President was a once in a lifetime experience. 

But women’s groups and members of the opposition said the act was inappropriate and unbecoming of a President. Critics also said that the kiss was demeaning and humiliating to women. 

Asked about his take on the incident, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV said he found it hard to swallow the perception that majority of Filipinos were titillated by the kiss between Duterte and a married woman during an event before members of the Filipino community in Seoul.

He said there was no reason for anyone to be titillated by that scene unless the entire nation had already fallen under a love spell thrown by Duterte.

“Di hamak mas marami nandiri (More likely there were more people who were disgusted),” Trillanes said.

Trillanes also said that whatever manner the Palace is trying to spin the incident, it was clear that what took place was highly improper.

Duterte’s supporters have justified the kiss, saying it was consensual and was only intended to please the audience.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque maintained that the kiss was a “playful act” accepted in Filipino culture. 

Duterte also stressed there was no malice in the kiss, which he claimed was enjoyed by everyone who saw it.  

“We enjoyed it. It was showbiz and everybody enjoyed it. I do not do it in public if there is malice,” the President said.

“I can only generate an emotion if I kiss a woman I love. Any other stranger is pure showbiz,” he added.

Duterte said he would also embrace women who are sick and assure them that the government is taking care of them. 

“If I want women to feel important even if they are sick, those whose clothes were stained with infection wounds, I try to embrace them and calm them down, and say, ‘We will look for something else’,” he said. –  With Marvin Sy

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