Philippines Duterte tells United Nations human rights expert - 'Go to hell'

by Garry Watts June 5, 2018, 4:51
Philippines Duterte tells United Nations human rights expert - 'Go to hell'

Though the woman, identified as Bea Kim, later said the kiss was "no malice", many people were outraged by the kiss, the BBC reported. "It was a despicable display of sexism and grave abuse of authority", she said in a comment to local media.

Joms Salvador, secretary general of Filipino women's rights organization Gabriela, denounced the kiss as the "disgusting theatrics of a misogynist President who feels entitled to demean, humiliate or disrespect women according to his whim".

After a protracted back and forth, with nervous laughter from the young woman and repeated gestures by Mr Duterte, the president eventually leaned in to kiss the woman on the lips.

Aside from growing alarm over his bloody crackdown against illegal drugs which has left thousands of mostly poor drug suspects dead, Duterte has come under fire from women's groups for sexist remarks, including one where he told troops to shoot female insurgents in the genitals during a public outburst against communist guerrillas.

"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". She later told Radio Television Malacanang, "The kiss doesn't mean anything except to entertain and make other Filipinos in the gathering happy".

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Duterte's previous comments on women, including rape jokes and incitations to shoot women guerillas in the vagina have resulted in angry charges of misogyny against him.

"Don't take that seriously", Duterte later told the crowd.

"Even if the act was consensual, it was the president, possessed of awesome, even intimidating power, who initiated it", Hontiveros said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera. He's also publicly kissed women in the past, including at campaign rallies. Kim, who has lived in Seoul for the past seven years, is married to a South Korean man and has two daughters, gave a statement to the government-run Philippine News Agency describing meeting Duterte as a "once in a lifetime" experience. The crowd was loudly teasing the President and the lady to seal it with a kiss already. But she was so lovely the mayor should have been first.

Roque touched briefly on the issue of a kiss between President Rodrigo Duterte and a Filipina which drew strong reactions from netizens. They say postings on platforms like Facebook and Twitter spin an inaccurate, glowing image of the president.

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