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Philippine President Duterte criticised for kissing overseas worker on stage

Gorkha Post

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SEOUL — The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, has been criticised for kissing a married woman on the lips during a speech in South Korea on Sunday evening in front of thousands of cheering supporters.

Duterte, 73, dismissed the kiss as a ‘gimmick’ to entertain supporters at a meet-and-greet event with overseas Filipino workers in South Korea. But one senator called the act “a despicable display of sexism and grave abuse of authority”.

Duterte sought a kiss from the woman after he called her on stage to give her a copy of a book at the event in Seoul, the Philippine Star reported. When Duterte asked if she could explain to her husband that the antic was just a joke, and she said yes, the president leaned in and kissed her as thousands erupted in cheers.

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State-run Philippine News Agency identified the woman as Bea Kim and also posted a brief video interview with her on its Facebook page.

The scene was broadcast live by the state-run TV network to the Philippines.

The woman has defended the kiss and said she was thrilled by her encounter but others said the president went too far.

But, women’s rights group Gabriela argued the act represented “disgusting theatrics of a misogynist president who feels entitled to demean, humiliate or disrespect women according to his whim”.

“His repeated acts of machismo are meant as entertainment to hide the reality of his rapidly slipping popularity due to the issues of extrajudicial killings, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law and big-time corruption scandals now plaguing his rule,” the group said in a statement.

Agencies

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32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say

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JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.

Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.

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“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.

Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.

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