Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has sparked outrage after kissing a woman on the lips during a meet and greet event in South Korea.
Opposition senator Risa Hontiveros described the act as a “despicable display of sexism and grave abuse of authority,” and accused the controversial leader of acting like a “feudal king.”
In the incident in Seoul on Sunday, part of the Filipino leader’s official visit to South Korea, Duterte called two overseas Filipino workers (OFW) onstage.
After offering each woman a copy of a book, reportedly a title which is critical of the Catholic church, he pecked one of the two women on the cheek.
As the other presented the side of her face, Duterte instead gestured to his lips, indicating that he wanted the woman to kiss him squarely on the mouth, to whoops and cheers from the crowd.
Duterte, who has a long-term partner with whom he has a daughter, reportedly asked the woman if she was single while onstage.
“Are you single? You’re not separated from (your husband)? But you can tell him that this is just a joke?” he asked, according to a report by Philippines news outlet Rappler.
According to Philippines state media PNA, the woman, identified as Bea Kim, is married to a South Korean national and has two children.
Kim said that there was “no malice” in the kiss, and that it didn’t “mean anything except to entertain and make other Filipinos in the gathering happy.”
On his trips to foreign countries, the president often takes time to meet members of the Filipino diaspora.
The office of the president has not responded to a CNN request for comment, and the Philippines government has yet to comment publicly on the incident.