Duterte hits back at critics: Kissing women is my style

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(Presidential Photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) — President Rodrigo Duterte has responded to the backlash he received over the controversial kiss he shared with a Filipina in South Korea.

Speaking to the media upon his arrival Tuesday, the President said there was no malice in the kiss.

"It was (a) showbiz and everybody enjoyed. If you're asking for malice, I do not do it in public if there is malice. I would pull the woman somewhere along the empty halls," he said.

The kissing incident was widely criticized. Many expressed disgust on social media, saying the act was an "unpresidential behavior."

The President took the matter lightly, adding he's been kissing women since his days as mayor of Davao City.

He said, "There are people here from Davao. During the campaign of my mayorship days, I kissed every woman there lips to lips...hindi lang yan smack. Ang ibang babae gusto talaga ng romance. Style ko yan eh. Maghanap kayo ng style ninyo."

[Translation: There are people here from Davao. During the campaign of my mayorship days, I kissed every woman there lips to lips...and it wasn't a smack. Some women really want romance. That's my style. Go look for your own.]

Duterte said he didn't understand why people made such a fuss about the incident.

"There is nothing wrong with a simple kiss...Inggit lang yan sila. Sabihin mo sa kanila palitan nila pustiso nila," he said.

[Translation: There is nothing wrong with a simple kiss...They're just jealous. Tell them to go change their dentures.]

When asked how his common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña reacted to the incident, the President dodged the question.

"Hindi yan tanong. Tanong yan ng mga pervert [That's not a question. That's something a pervert would ask]. Why do you have to dwell on the kissing?" he said.