Duterte slammed for kissing married woman before huge audience

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte demanded a kiss on the lips from a woman at a meet and greet event with the Filipino community in South Korea on Sunday.

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".

Mr Duterte said in jest that he would give the book, Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church, in exchange for a kiss, specifically asking for women in the audience. "It's just for fun, a gimmick", Duterte, who has a longtime partner and four children, told the crowd after the kiss. He inquired if she could explain to her husband that what they were about to do was just a joke. She appeared shy, laughing at the request, but eventually getting close enough for him to move in and plant a kiss on her mouth.

But it was described as "disgusting theatrics of a misogynist president" by Philippines rights group Gabriela.

You in white, are you ready to engage in kissing?

"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".

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In this November 13, 2017 photo, President Moon Jae-in speaks with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, the Philippines. "He can go to hell", Duterte told reporters in Manila, insisting he had nothing to do with Sereno's dismissal.

"His repeated acts of machismo are meant as entertainment to hide the reality of his rapidly slipping popularity due to the issues of extrajudicial killings, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law and big-time corruption scandals now plaguing his rule", Gabriela said in a statement on Monday. It didn't "mean anything except to entertain and make other Filipinos in the gathering happy", she said, according to the PNA.

In this case, the unidentified woman told the state-run Philippine News Agency in an interview that "there was no malice" to what the president did. "I was angry because she was raped".

Duterte has in the past been accused of making sexist, misogynistic and disrespectful comments against women, including making rape jokes, questioning their integrity and even telling soldiers to shoot female rebels' genitals.

Duterte's latest profanity-laced diatribe came after Diego Garcia-Sayan, the United Nations special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, said the president's statements against former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno were a "vicious attack" on the judiciary.

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