President Rodrigo Duterte did not commit an immoral act when he kissed a married woman in the mouth in public while on an official visit to South Korea, his spokesman Harry Roque said Tuesday.
Duterte described the kiss as his way of endearing himself to a fellow countryman, sparking outrage from various quarters that regarded the act as demeaning to women and unbecoming of a chief executive.
“I don’t think there’s anything immoral. After all, the President has reiterated he is single,” Roque told reporters in Seoul.
Duterte is legally separated from his wife and is living in with Honeylet Avanceña with whom he has a daughter.
Roque said the only person who should complain was the Filipino woman, identified as Bea Kim, who had said it was a harmless kiss intended to make the audience, composed mainly of Filipino workers, happy.
“If some people were offended, so be it,” Roque said.
“For this instance, we have to highlight [that] the woman had nothing to say but positive things about the experience.”