Duterte kisses 5 women in Tokyo, nearly a year after controversial smooch on lips
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the meeting with the Filipino community at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on May 30, 2019.
Karl Norman Alonzo/Presidential Photo
Duterte kisses 5 women in Tokyo, nearly a year after controversial smooch on lips
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - May 31, 2019 - 4:03pm

TOKYO, Japan — Almost a year after his much-criticized kissing of a married Filipina on the lips in South Korea, President Rodrigo Duterte kissed five women here in the presence of his longtime partner Honeylet Avanceña, whom he described as his "First Lady."

There was no kissing on the lips this time for Duterte, who instead gave cheek-to-cheek kisses to four women who went on stage during his meeting with the Filipino community here. A woman tried to kiss the president on the lips but hesitated. She settled for a cheek-to-cheek kiss.

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

Before the kissing spree, Duterte said there was nothing malicious about him kissing women contrary to the claims of his critics who accused him of misogyny. He then called for "volunteers," prompting dozens of women to yell and raise their hands. 

"Pero maghalik ako ganun, lips to lips talaga. Sino ngayon ang mag-volunteer? Sino ma’am kay mag-uwi na ako (If I kiss somebody, it's lips to lips. Who wants to volunteer? I want to go home already)," the president said.

"How about you ma'am? First, you should not be married. Second, you should not be a minor. How about you ma'am? Do you smooch? Not like that," he added. 

READ: Gabriela: Duterte’s kissing of Filipina in South Korea a ‘disgusting theatrics of a misogynist’

Duterte ended his two-hour freewheeling speech by asking whether there were widows who want to kiss him.

Avanceña, who was also on stage, was seen smiling while presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo was taking photos as the kissing spree was taking place.

Some women who attended the meeting were asking Duterte to hug them while others were requesting for a selfie and yelling "I love you Tatay."

Last June, Duterte drew flak for kissing a married woman on the lips during a meeting with the Filipino community in South Korea. The president was unfazed by the criticisms, saying kissing female supporters has been his style since he was mayor of the southern city of Davao.

While he projects himself as a lover of women, Duterte told the Filipino community here that he used to be gay.  

READ: Lawyer questions Trillanes' sexuality over tattoo inquiry

He then mocked his staunch critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV by asking his audience whether they thought the senator was gay.

"Mabuti’t na lang pareho kami ni Trillanes. Pero nagamot ko ang sarili ko (Good thing Trillanes and I are alike. But I have cured myself)," the president said. 

'You are the only one'

At the start of his speech before the Filipino community, Duterte talked about his failed marriage with his former wife Elizabeth Zimmerman and how he met Avanceña.

Duterte said Zimmerman, the mother of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, vice mayor-elect Sebastian Duterte and incoming district representative Paolo Duterte, left him and filed an annulment case against him.  

He said he met Avanceña in 1988 when he was mayor of Davao City. She was then the first runner up of a local beauty pageant. 

"She used to be thin. Now, she's still thin," Duterte said, drawing laughs from the audience. 

When Avanceña, who worked in the United States for some time, informed Duterte that she was pregnant, he asked her why she was not using birth control pills. 

"She got angry and said 'Stupid, Why would I use pills? You are the only one who visits me here. You are the only one,'' the president said. 

READ: ‘Cockroach attracted to foul mouth’: Gabriela slams Duterte’s ‘putrid’ remarks on Bohol mayor

Duterte said he asked Avanceña to come home after giving birth to their child Veronica. 

"I told her 'Come home. No guarantees on your title. I could not say it but it’s really a destiny to become First Lady of the Filipino nation," he said. 

"Pero kung may gustong sumunod, okay man lang sa akin. Wala talaga akong problema (But if someone comes next, it's fine with me. I don't have any problem)." 

At present, nobody holds the title of "First Lady" as Duterte and Avanceña are not married. 

Avanceña was the one who introduced Duterte to the audience before delivering his speech,  describing him as a man who gave up his comfort and convenience to serve his country.

RODRIGO DUTERTE
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