Just when you think there’s nothing else that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte can do that’ll shock you, he does something else that drives everyone nuts.
In an event organized for the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) based in Seoul yesterday, Duterte, a self-proclaimed womanizer, kissed an unidentified female OFW on stage — and on the lips — as “payment” for a book he was giving away.
Duterte gave a copy of a book about corruption in the Catholic church titled Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church after a two-hour long speech.
Before giving it away, the president said he couldn’t offer it to men in the audience because it was not for free. The payment he asked for? A kiss.
“Not a man, this is not for free. [You pay me with] a kiss,” he told the crowd in Filipino.
He then singled out a Filipino woman in the audience and said: “You seem ready to kiss, come here.”
The woman went onstage with a fellow Filipina to receive the book.
Before going back down, the two placed their foreheads on Duterte’s hand (a sign of respect to elders in the Philippines called “mano” or “amen”) but the president said that wasn’t enough.
“Don’t amen, come here. What about the kiss?” Duterte said to the two women.
One woman got away with giving the president what was essentially an air kiss, briefly brushing cheeks, but Duterte was persistent and repeatedly pointed to his pouted lips while facing the other woman.
“Are you single? You’re not separated? You can tell [your husband] this is just a joke?” Duterte told the woman before grabbing both her arms and planting a kiss on her lips.
President Duterte gives a Filipina a kiss on the lips onstage after giving her a book exposing corruption in the Catholic Church pic.twitter.com/FdG7AtdMOw
— Pia Gutierrez (@pia_gutierrez) June 3, 2018
While people at the event were heard on camera enthusiastically cheering them on, netizens have been critical of Duterte since videos of the incident started making their rounds online.
I don’t know what’s worse? The kiss from duterte hitler reincarnate himself? Ate girl acting kilig? The crowd cheering like a bunch of morons? All of the fucking above? https://t.co/0SHy97QI4C
— camie juan (@camiejuan) June 3, 2018
It’s very clear from this close-up that the woman was uncomfortable, but she gave in anyway because of combined presidential and social pressure.
It’s also clear that Duterte really wanted to plant a kiss on the woman. He had every opportunity to stop himself, but didn’t. https://t.co/LckMyd9SwW
— JC Punongbayan (@jcpunongbayan) June 3, 2018
going off twitter for a while. imma wait until that disgusting photo of duterte's death kiss dies down. that shit is puke material
— paulina christine (@piaescano) June 3, 2018
imagine being duterte's wife and just see him kiss another woman in the lips pic.twitter.com/5akICPnQKi
— phil (@_repugnant) June 3, 2018
i've seen the video of duterte initiating the lips to lips kiss with the woman who's working as ofw & it was fucking gross! the woman didn't object because we all know power is at play at that moment but shit if u r on your right mind and u r the presidrent, u will never do that!
— emma (@EMMAgaaanda) June 4, 2018
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Duterte was called out for being misogynistic.
During his 2016 campaign, he infamously said he “should have been the first person to participate” in the gang rape of an Australian missionary, an incident that happened in Davao while he was mayor of the city in 1989.
In January, he also joked about offering “42 virgins” as a tourism come on for the Philippines.
Sexist comments from the president have gotten so common that last week, a feminist even offered to give Duterte free gender sensitivity training.
“The UP Center for Gender Studies invites you for a gender sensitivity training. We will go to Malacañang for him and for other officials who haven’t undergone such training,” Nathalie Africa Verceles, director of the University of the Philippines’ Women and Gender Studies said in a radio interview.
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