Duterte reacts to kiss controversy: ‘That’s my style’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte FILE PHOTO ABS-CBN News

Despite the public uproar against his controversial kiss with an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte does not think there was anything wrong with what he did.

“I do not do it in public if there was malice,” he told reporters earlier today upon arriving at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport from Seoul, South Korea.

Videos of Duterte kissing OFW Bea Kim in an event with the Filipino community in Seoul have sparked anger from critics who have called the president out for being misogynistic.

But instead of addressing their concerns, Duterte proudly said that kissing random women in public has always been his “style.”

“During the campaign of my mayorship days, I kissed every woman there (in Davao), lips to lips … and it wasn’t just a smack because some women really want romance. That’s my style. Go look for your own,” he said.

Yikes.

He also said that there’s “nothing wrong with a simple kiss” and that those making a fuss about it are “just jealous.”

While Duterte had tough words for his critics, CNN Philippines reported that he purposely stayed mum about what his common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña thought about the kiss.

“That’s not a question. That’s something a pervert would ask. Why do you have to dwell on the kissing?” he said after being asked about Avanceña’s reaction.

Like Duterte, Kim, the OFW, also did not think much of the kiss.

In an interview with the government-run Philippine News Agency, she said that there was “no malice” in the kiss, that it was just done to “thrill” the audience, and that she was “happy” to have met the president.

Another person that shrugged off the controversy was Philippine Senator Win Gatchalian, who defended Duterte yesterday saying that the kiss was done in a “professional” manner, comparing it to how actors kiss on television and in movies.

“I think for as long as it’s kept professional, and there’s an understanding between the partners, then maybe they can do that,” Gatchalian told reporters yesterday.

Er, what?

There to debunk this was *actual* actor Dingdong Dantes, who shut down Gatchalian’s justification in just two tweets.

“As actors, we are accountable to our viewers, our producers and the manner of delivering the story. It’s a different story when you’re a public official. That’s why you shouldn’t compare and use that argument,” Dantes said in English and Filipino.

In another tweet, Dantes said:

“Us actors are portraying characters. Sometimes, we can refuse [to do something, like kiss] because we have different values and interpretations. Just because the director and script tell you to jump, does not mean you jump.”

Now that makes total sense.

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