Netizens do a spit take over Duterte’s ‘laway mo, kunin ko’ statement

Marguerite de Leon

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Netizens do a spit take over Duterte’s ‘laway mo, kunin ko’ statement
There is also online clamor for senatorial bet Pia Cayetano to respond to President Rodrigo Duterte's misogynistic remarks

MANILA, Philippines – Did President Rodrigo Duterte bring his slimy rhetoric to a whole other level? 

While the President is notorious for making sexist remarks towards women, and even caused a stir when he kissed a Filipina worker on the lips in South Korea, his latest statement appears to have made skins crawl more than usual.

In his speech at the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City on Friday, October 26, Duterte challenged critics to spit on him should he ever contradict himself, but added an exception for beautiful women. 

“Bastusin mo na ako pero ‘pag babae ka na maganda at dinuraan mo ako, ‘yung laway mo kunin ko (You can be rude to me, but if you’re a beautiful woman who spits on me, I’ll get your saliva),” he said. 

He also continued with the spit imagery when he addressed the women who lambasted him for the kiss in South Korea. He said, “Hindi lang ninyo alam, loka-loka, kasi mga pangit kayo. Pati ‘yung ngipin ninyo malalaki. Hindi ako maghalik sa inyo. Pero kung maghalik ‘yung babae, kunin ‘yung laway, ilagay ko sa dila ko, lapitan ko, sabi ko, ‘Isauli ko sa iyo ang laway mo, dagdagan ko ng akin dahil maganda ka.'”

(You wouldn’t know, you crazy women, because you’re ugly. Your teeth are huge. I wouldn’t kiss the lot of you. But if a [beautiful] woman kisses me, I’ll get her saliva, I’ll place it on my tongue, then I’ll go to her and say, “Here’s your saliva. I added my own, because you’re beautiful.”)

Reactions online ranged from exasperated to horrified. 

On Facebook:

On Twitter:

Netizens also challenged senatorial hopeful Pia Cayetano to speak up about the issue. A staunch supporter of reproductive health and self-proclaimed champion for women, Cayetano has drawn flak before for staying silent on Duterte’s misogynistic remarks.

Here are some messages for her on Twitter:


How did you react when you heard or read about the President’s statement? –

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Marguerite de Leon

Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon heads Rappler’s Life and Style, Entertainment, and Opinion sections. She has been with Rappler since 2013, and also served as its social media producer for six years. She is also a fictionist.