Responding to the backlash he received over the controversial kiss he shared with a Filipina in South Korea, President Rodrigo Duterte said those who are making an issue out of it are jealous.
He brushed aside the huge flak he got and said kissing women has been his style since his days as mayor of Davao City.
“During the campaign in my mayorship days, I kiss every woman there, lips to lips…Not only smack. Other women really wanted romance. That’s my style. Find your own style,” he said.
The president also clarified that there was no malice in the kiss, so he didn’t understand why people made a big deal out of the incident.
“There is nothing wrong with a simple kiss,” he said.
“They’re just jealous. Tell them to go change their dentures,” he added.
When asked how his common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña reacted to the incident, Duterte, however, got irritated.
“That’s not a question. That’s something a pervert would ask. Why do you have to dwell on kissing?…Next question,” he said.
Bea Kim has been identified as the woman Duterte kissed.
According to Kim, she did not feel violated by the president’s gesture. She also said that meeting the president was a once in a lifetime experience.
Women’s groups and members of the opposition, however, said that the act was inappropriate for a president. Some critics also pointed out that the kiss was demeaning and humiliating to women
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV gave his take on the incident and said he “found it hard to swallow” that majority of Filipinos were titillated by the kiss between Duterte and a married woman during an event before members of the Filipino community in Seoul.
“More likely there were more people who were disgusted,” Trillanes added.
He also stressed that the act was highly improper, despite what the Palace is trying to spin to the media.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque insisted that the kiss was merely “a playful act” accepted in Filipino culture.