MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte ended his meeting with the Filipino community in South Korea on Sunday, June 3, by kissing an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) on the lips – a move that drew cheers from the audience but disgust from some netizens.
Duterte first called two female OFWs to join him onstage to receive a copy of Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church, a book by the late Aries Rufo, who was a Rappler senior investigative reporter. The President has repeatedly shown a copy of this book to mock the Catholic Church.
Both of the women were visibly happy to meet Duterte, who is in South Korea for a 3-day official visit.
The President bussed one of the OFWs on the cheek, then gestured to the other that he wanted to kiss her on the lips.
He could be heard saying to her: "Dalaga ka? Hindi naman kayo hiwalay? Pero kaya mo sabihin na biro lang ito?" (Are you single? You're not separated from him? But you can tell him that this is just a joke?)
Duterte then kissed the OFW on the lips, and hugged her afterwards, as the crowd screamed and cheered.
Online, however, the response was far from positive. Below are some of the comments on Twitter.
Duterte kisses an OFW - Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom
Gabriela Women's Party on Monday, June 4, denounced Duterte's latest controversial move as the "disgusting theatrics of a misogynist."
In the past, the President has been denounced for repeatedly making derogatory comments against women. (READ: From 'fragrant' Filipinas to shooting vaginas: Duterte's top 6 sexist remarks)
Malacañang has insisted that the President is "serious" about promoting women's rights, but female advocates are saying that Duterte's actions show otherwise. (READ: #BabaeAko campaign: Filipino women fight back against Duterte's misogyny) – Rappler.com