Rodrigo Duerte, Philippines president, has reportedly said that he got himself “cured of homosexuality” with the aid of “beautiful women.”
Duerte brought this revelation to light while addressing a Filipino audience at an event staged in Tokyo, Japan, CNN reports.
He added that he “became a man again” after meeting his current partner Honeylet Avanceña.
The president also accused Antonio Trillanes — a critic senator in his administration — of being gay.
The 74-year-old politician, known for his controversial remarks, went on to invite beautiful women at the event for a kiss before his departure.
Female audience members kiss President Rodrigo Duterte on the cheek after some taunting from both Duterte and the audience.
A similar incident happened in June 2018, where Duterte kissed an OFW on the lips. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/ozyfpdQV77
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) May 30, 2019
While stating conditions that could disqualify interested women from getting a kiss from him, he said they should neither be a minor nor married.
In his response to the accusations, Triallanes released a statement where he questioned the president’s sexuality, New York Times reports.
“By admitting his gay past, I am beginning to be suspicious of the true nature of Duterte’s seeming obsession towards me,” Trillanes said.
“It’s also entirely possible that his strongman projection is just a front. Whatever, such comments by Duerte show how perverted and sick his mind is.”
Duerte’s public remarks have generated mixed reactions from the Filipino gay community.
Rhadem Camlian Morados, a gay rights activist, described the statement as “demeaning” and “counterproductive”.
“His gay joke was very counterproductive and demeaning…as if there’s a need to ‘pray the gay away’ and that homosexuality is a disease that needs to be cured,” he said.
Danton Remoto, head of Ladlad, a Filipino LGBT political party, said the president’s outburst does not entirely represent his opinion on homosexuality.
“Duterte’s remarks are slippery like mercury, his opinion depends on the audience,” Remoto said.
It is believed that homosexuality is not outlawed in the Philippines.
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