Duterte to resign if women protest ‘the kiss’? Campaign makes attempt

June 8, 2018 - 12:31 PM
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In this photo, Duterte is seen raising his fist during a speech in the 16th founding anniversary of the Supreme Tribal Council for Peace and Development, Inc. (Presidential Photo/Ace Morandante)

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement that he will resign should “enough women” protest his controversial kiss with a Filipino migrant earlier in June, one group started a campaign calling for the president’s resignation.

Enough’

An online statement denouncing Duterte’s willing lips-on-lips kiss with a married Filipino woman in South Korea and his other supposedly misogynistic statements and actions is being circulated online.

According to the Facebook page “Enough,” it was Duterte’s status as president that made the encounter possible, given his authority as president.

The group also recalled numerous supposedly problematic statements from Duterte.

“Duterte forgets that the days of the campaign are over, he is not a mayor, and he is not in Davao in front of blind adoring fans,” said the group about an account from Duterte recalling how he would kiss women during his time as mayor of Davao City.

Recognizing that some women have defended Duterte’s actions in South Korea, the group claimed to still want to advocate on behalf of those defending the president.

“Many women will defend Duterte. But this battle is for them too, no matter that they stand against it. Because even as they defend him, their lives are no less endangered by this President’s actions,” said the group.

In a tweet, writer Katrina Stuart Santiago appears to admit that it was she who drafted the statement.

Bea Kim, the Korea-based Filipino worker Duterte kissed has gone on to defend the president, saying there was no malice and that the kiss was just to rouse the audience.

She also related that the president asked if she was married before asking for the smooch.

Despite the woman’s defense, women’s rights groups, some active social media users and administration critics alike have denounced Duterte for the incident.

The Enough petition has also gained traction online. As of this writing, the petition is approaching 400 Facebook shares and has gathered almost 2,000 pledges from women.

Those denouncing Duterte’s actions have discussed how power relations may have played a part in how Duterte managed to gain the worker’s consent for the kiss.

Duterte, even before the incident in South Korea, drew flak for commenting that he did not want a woman to sit as the next ombudsman. He is known to have been critical of incumbent ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, who is due to retire on July 26, 2018, in the past.

The president has also been criticized for stating that women are not suited for some professions.

A number of administration allies have called for understanding on behalf of the head of state.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, for one, discussed how the kiss was merely to please the audience, likening the encounter to a movie scene featuring consenting actors.