‘The price for this is a kiss’: Duterte slammed over book exchange


Duterte draws flak for ‘cringeworthy’ kiss. Image ©
PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte is once again under fire from critics – this time it’s not for his infamously obtuse rhetoric, but for kissing a woman on the lips during a visit to Seoul.

Duterte was addressing a meeting of the Filipino community in the South Korean capital when he announced that he would exchange a copy of a book for a kiss from a woman in the crowd. “No men, the price for this is a kiss,” he said, while calling out to a woman in white. “Are you ready to kiss?”

When two women went up on stage, Duterte told them they could share the book. He pecked one woman on the cheek before signaling he would prefer a kiss on the lips from the second. “Are you single? You’re not separated? But can you tell him that this is just a joke?” Duterte said, as he moved in to lock lips with the woman.

Ironically, the book he exchanged for the kiss was about allegations of sleaze and corruption in the Catholic Church. The tawdry nature of the incident was not lost on former solicitor-general Florin Hilbay who, in a statement cited by AP, said: “This is the path that normalizes misogyny.”

Gabriela, a women’s rights group, also slammed the president’s “disgusting theatrics,” telling ABS-CBN that Duterte felt “entitled to demean, humiliate or disrespect women according to his whim.”

Some took to Twitter to register their disgust with the Philippines president’s bizarre display.

he controversial leader has also been accused of making misogynistic comments in the past. In February, he delivered speech to troops in which he appeared to advocate shooting female communist rebels in the vagina.

Last year, he was caught in a number of controversies over his alleged “jokes” about rape. In July, he made a speech in his home city of Davao in which he told people he would congratulate someone for “having the balls” to rape Miss Universe contestants.

In May, he told a meeting of Philippines soldiers that they had carte blanche in the battle against Islamic State-affiliated Maute in the southern island of Mindanao. “I’ll be with you all the way. If you go down, I go down… If you raped three [women], I will be the one to admit that it’s me,” he said.

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