President Rodrigo Duterte has made another “joke” last night. This time, he admitted that he once ogled at Vice-President Leni Robredo’s legs during a cabinet meeting.
Pres. Duterte said this during his speech at the anniversary of supertyphoon Yolanda in Tacloban yesterday. He told the audience that he and finance secretary Carlos Dominguez stared at Robredo’s knees as she comes in meetings in short skirts. Take note that he said this while VP Robredo was in the audience.
“You know ma’am Leni would always wear skirts which are shorter than usual. At one time, Dominguez asked me come closer because I was far from them. But I told him, ‘Come here. Look at (Robredo’s) knees,” he says. “Maybe she noticed (that I was looking at her). I wanted to tell her, ‘Ma’am maybe next time you just wear shorts… But after our third meeting, she was already there at the far end of the table. I lost the view during the Cabinet meeting.”
And unsurprisingly, he also says, “Please don’t be offended (with what I have said) because I’m not mad. You would know I’m mad when I start looking at beautiful women.”
It’s one thing to tell someone that they should not wear short skirts so no one would stare at them maliciously. But it’s another to openly admit that you were basically sexually harassing your Vice-President. This is also not the first time that Pres. Duterte has said this. Last August, he said that Robredo is a distraction during cabinet meetings and that no one will listen to her if she were president “because she’s beautiful.”
Meanwhile, Robredo also commented on how she’s used to Duterte’s “jokes” by now, saying that she’s always his “pulutan.“
Well, let’s just add this to the Philippines’ list of “locker-room talk.” We’re betting that someone out there’s going to use the “boys will be boys” excuse again after this. Again, it is NOT okay to sexually harass someone anywhere and treat it as a mere joke. Pres. Duterte should know that already especially since he’s made a lot of damaging jokes during his term.
Photo courtesy of the Office of the President