President Duterte ended his two-hour long speech before the Filipino community with a quick kiss from a Filipina whom he gifted with a book he often quoted in criticizing the Catholic Church. President Rodrigo Duterte’s act of kissing a woman on stage during a meeting with the Filipino community in Seoul, South Korea on Sunday prompted criticism on social media.
He gaved the book “Altars of Secrets: Sex, Politics and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church” written by the late journalist Aries Rufo to the audience.
He first asked whether there was a priest around, drawing out laughter from the crowd, who apparently knew the President’s tiff with Catholic bishops who had criticized his war on drugs.
Amid cheers from the crowd, the President called on two women who then rushed to the stage. One kissed him on the cheek while the other jumped up and down while talking to him.
President Duterte then playfully signalled to one of women to give him a kiss on the lips. She gave him a smack.
Duterte asked the audience present to not take the kiss seriously, saying it was “just a gimmick” to make the people happy.
However, the president’s “gimmick” drew negative comments on social media with users finding the move “gross” and inappropriate.
Duterte has in the past been called sexist and a mysogynist for his comments on women.
The Palace as well as the president’s political allies say Duterte loves women and have repeatedly pointed out policies in Davao City that protect women from harassment.