Duterte takes heat for kissing Filipino woman onstage

The conservative newspaper Chosun Ilbo noted that South Korea's government indicated Duterte's visit is strictly business and sent the head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration instead of a senior diplomat to welcome the Philippines president at the airport to send a clear message to that effect.

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday said what Duterte did during his visit to Seoul "was a despicable display of sexism and grave abuse of authority".

"Well, this 4.9 billion worth of investments and thousands of new jobs, and one billion dollars in ODA - that (the kiss) possibly can't overshadow the harvest of the President on this trip", he said.

In May 2017, Duterte told a group of soldiers on the southern island of Mindanao, where he had just imposed martial law, that they were each allowed to rape up to three women. Duterte asked. "But can you tell him that this is just a joke?".

The President received cheers from the audience after he kissed the OFW, but many netizens were disgusted by his act. She said there was "no malice" in the presidential kiss, which was meant to dazzle the crowd.

"They should be able to criticise Duterte's inappropriate and wrongful actions, because when people start tolerating a leader's offenses, it becomes blind fanaticism". Duterte later apologized for the comments, then retracted his apology.

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Joms Salvador, secretary general of Filipino women's rights organization Gabriela, denounced the kiss as the "disgusting theatrics of a misogynist President who feels entitled to demean, humiliate or disrespect women according to his whim".

The woman involved later said that there was "no malice" in the kiss. But the President asked her to come closer for a kiss, pointing to his lips.

Duterte was reportedly in South Korea for a series of meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to boost cooperation in the fields of transportation, economics, and trade, renewable energy, technology, and infrastructure. "His repeated acts of machismo is meant as entertainment to hide the reality of his rapidly slipping popularity".

The woman - identified as Bea Kim - was later quoted by the Philippine News Agency as saying that the president had asked if she was single, to which she responded that she was married to a Korean.

The UN's Garcia-Sayan said Friday that Duterte's public threats against Sereno appeared to have had a "chilling effect" on her colleagues in the judiciary.

"Make him jealous", the President said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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