Duterte defends ‘The Kiss’


President Duterte brushed off claims of misogyny yesterday after he kissed a Filipina woman on the lips onstage in Seoul – saying they had both “enjoyed it”.

The 73-year-old grandfather had offered a free book in exchange for a kiss during a trip to South Korea. He called a woman, Bea Kim, onto the platform during a speech on Sunday and pointed to his lips.

She initially hesitated, saying she had a husband, but later offered no protest as Duterte kissed her on the lips while the mostly Filipino crowd cheered and shrieked in apparent approval.

“We enjoyed it. It was a showbiz (thing) and everybody enjoyed it,” Duterte told reporters upon his arrival back in Manila. “I do not do it in public if there is malice.”

Duterte even said he was willing to step down over the issue if complaints mounted.

“I think if all women here would sign a petition for me to resign, I will resign.”

Women’s groups and opposition lawmakers accused Duterte of abusing his position and misogyny following the latest incident, as footage of the kiss spread on social media.

The woman herself later told state-run Philippine media that there was “no malice” in the act.