Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Duterte will quit 'if enough women protest' against his kiss

Duterte will quit 'if enough women protest' against his kiss

Lawmakers, women's rights groups and some Filipinos on social media have criticized Duterte for kissing the woman, who is married to a South Korean and has two children.

A kiss by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on a Filipino woman's lips while on an official visit in South Korea sparked anger and jokes on Monday, as feminists denounced what they called his "perverted way" of taunting his female critics.

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros said that even though the kiss was consensual, it was a "grave abuse of authority".

Roque added that there was nothing immoral about the kiss, which Duterte asked for in exchange for a copy of a book about alleged corruption in the Catholic Church in the Philippines that he gave out at a gathering of Filipinos living in Seoul on Sunday.

While the woman has defended the kiss and said she was thrilled by her encounter, others said the president went too far.

A defiant Duterte said the incident was "natural".

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Despite the president's acts of misogyny, he remains popular among Filipinos in the Philippines and overseas who mostly depend on social media content from pro-government bloggers.

He called Bea Kim on stage after a rambling two-hour speech to thousands of Filipino workers in Seoul.

Duterte's controversial remarks about women include several public jokes about rape.

"There's payment for this, a kiss".

"I believe that an overwhelming majority of Filipinos continue to support the President and found the kiss a light moment that is very accepted in the culture of Filipinos", Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque would later say in a press conference the next day, according to Rappler. There is nothing wrong in a simple kiss - you cause an uproar. But the president asked her to come closer for a kiss, pointing to his lips.

Duterte told the crowd it was just for fun, but critics condemned what they said was his latest macho antic degrading women. "Majority are OFWs", he said. The woman, who appeared excited to see Duterte in person, agreed.

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