Press Release
June 4, 2018

Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on President Duterte kissing a Filipina overseas worker

It was a despicable display of sexism and grave abuse of authority. President Duterte acted like a feudal king who thinks that being the President is an entitlement to do anything that he pleases.

Even if the act was consensual, it was the President, possessed of awesome, even intimidating, power, who initiated it. It was not a meeting of two consenting individuals on equal terms. Uneven power relations were clearly at play. And President Duterte took advantage of that severe power disparity.

That being the case, I appeal to the public not to pass judgment on the Filipina overseas worker. President Duterte, being the head of the state, should have acted with great restraint, respect and judiciousness, something which is expected of the position he holds, especially a leader dubbed by his defenders as "tatay." That is no way for a so-called father of the nation to act.

I also call on the public to exercise vigilance and discernment. At a time when the government's subservient response to China's threats is being exposed and the President's Solicitor General is accused of massive corruption, this antic could be a diversionary tactic aided by misogyny. As we express our disgust with this awful act of sexism and abuse of authority, let us keep our eye equally on the sovereignty and corruption issues plaguing this administration.

News Latest News Feed