‘Natural gravitation’: Duterte insists on shaking pretty ladies’ hands despite COVID-19 threat

With coronavirus cases piling up at an alarming rate in the Philippines after a weeks-long hiatus, an in spite of his security detail announcing a strict “no touching” policy, President Rodrigo Duterte has again insisted that he’s not about to stop shaking well-wishers’ hands. Nope, it’s just too good an opportunity to get close to pretty women.

That’s right. In a speech yesterday, Duterte said he can’t help but hold gorgeous women’s hands, coronavirus be damned.

“My security told me, if possible, that I do not [shake hands]. The problem is, how about those beautiful women who are inside the room?” he said in English and Filipino.

“It’s natural gravitation that you would go near them. It’s always nice to talk to a beautiful lady. Corona or no corona. Especially if she looks like a muse with a crown on her head,” Duterte added, clearly feeling frisky enough for a little poetic wordplay. (“Corona” is Latin — and Filipino, if spelled with a ‘k’ — for crown.)

The president frequently professes his love for beautiful women, often in terms many would consider sexist, and is also no stranger to outright misogyny. He’s the same man who kissed a married woman on the lips in Seoul, and who once joked he should have been the first to rape a nun who was murdered in a hostage situation in Davao City in the 1980s.

(It’d be nice if he were similarly obsessed with, say, providing more resources to health care providers so they can battle COVID-19, but maybe that’s too much to ask.)

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque announced today in a House of Representatives hearing that three foreigners who recently visited the Philippines tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning to their home countries, Rappler reports.

One Japanese national who visited the Philippines within the last nine days is currently confined at a medical facility in Japan, a Singaporean tested positive after staying in the country for three days, and a South Korean who stayed here for two months has also tested positive for the disease.

The development brings the number of foreigners who have tested positive after visiting the Philippines to six. The three others are from Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.


This article, ‘Natural gravitation’: Duterte insists on shaking pretty ladies’ hands despite COVID-19 threat, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!