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Duterte's kiss with Filipino woman sparks controversy

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By Euronews
Duterte's kiss with Filipino woman sparks controversy

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s kiss with a Filipino woman during an official visit to South Korea has sparked controversy, as critics slammed the leader's move.

The president chose a random audience member to kiss him in exchange for a book he was handing out at a meet-and-greet on Sunday night.

On Monday, Gabriela Women’s Party, a leftist Filipino organisation that advocates for women’s issues, said in a statement that it deplores Duterte’s “machismo”.

Others made jokes about the kiss.

Duterte, 73, dismissed the kiss as a “gimmick” to entertain supporters.

State-run Philippine News Agency identified the woman as Bea Kim and shared an interview on their Facebook page.

“There was no malice in it,” she said. “For me, for him, it didn’t mean anything.”

Women's rights campaigners in the Phillippines have started using the hashtag #BabaeAko (I Am A Woman) to stand up for what they believe are misogynist acts by Duterte.