Philippines President Duterte is possibly the only world leader that comes close to Donald Trump in terms of negative media coverage. But just like The Donald, Duterte has defied the corrupt media and is still admired by the people.
Duterte’s latest transgression in the eyes of the mainstream media was an innocent kiss. The 73 year old was recently in South Korea and while not meeting the leaders of the anti-communist south Duterte took time to conduct a town hall with Filipino expats. During the meeting the popular leader said that he would give a book to any woman that would kiss him. Video footage of the crowd showed virtually all the women present raising their hands and wailing in attempts to get Duterte’s attention.
Duterte chose one woman from two that made their way to the stage. He gave the very willing woman a kiss on the lips and bang! She wandered off with a free book (Altar of Secrets: Sex, Politics and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church).
Despite the woman volunteering for the kiss, the corrupt mainstream media has used the innocent kiss as an opportunity to slur Duterte again. According to The Atlantic (an American Publication), women’s rights groups labeled the incident a, “despicable display of sexism.” One of Duterte’s rivals Senator Risa Hontiveros said, “It was not a meeting of two consenting individuals on equal terms. Uneven power relations were clearly at play.” Hontiveros has a background as a mainstream media news anchor in the Philippines, so it’s no surprise she has such off kilter (progressive) beliefs. In a display of confidence Duterte said he would resign if enough women demanded he do so.
Back in the real world Duterte is set to be tested by expansionist China in the weeks and months ahead. Video footage emerged of Chinese Coast Guard members boarding a Filipino fishing vessel and taking some of their best catch. It will be interesting to see how Duterte responds as he has been quoted stating that he was willing to live without the U.S.
In 2016 during the reign of Barack ‘Barry’ Obama, Duterte said the President could,
“. . . go to hell!” He also called Obama a “son of a whore!” On another occasion after criticism about his hardline approach to drug traffickers in the Philippines, the popular leader said, “I will be reconfiguring my foreign policy. Eventually I might, in my time, I will break up with America. I would rather go to Russia and to China.”
However, Duterte sees a lot of himself in current American President, Donald Trump. At a meeting in Malaysia the Filipino rejoiced, “Long live Mr Trump! We both curse at the slightest reason. We are alike.” Duterte added, “I don’t want to quarrel anymore, Trump has won.”