Tugade in party video goes viral
President Rodrigo Duterte is not alone in drawing fire for what critics call breach of ethics and abuse of authority by soliciting a kiss from a married Filipino woman in South Korea on Sunday night.
Hours after television images of the President’s kissing scene with migrant worker Bea Kim sparked public anger on Monday, a video posted by a Duterte administration critic, Jover Laurio of Pinoy Ako Blog, went viral on the internet, showing Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade leaning forward as if to kiss a female member of his staff.
Tugade is a close aide of the President. They are both graduates of San Beda College in Manila.
“Seems like obscenity has become normalized during President Duterte’s term,” Laurio wrote in the caption for the video, which had drawn nearly 2,500 comments as of press time on Tuesday.
Just like Malacañang, which has been defending the President’s behavior as just “a playful act accepted in Filipino culture,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) found itself pushing back against public criticism of Tugade’s action.
‘Just for fun’
Goddes Libiran, DOTr communications director, said the video was from a mouth relay parlor game during the Christmas party at the department in 2016.
Tugade was shown with food between his lips that he intended to pass to the female employee, Libiran explained.
She said Tugade’s action was “just for fun, nothing personal.”
The employees, she added, “cheered and nominated other pairs to participate in a [fun] and lighthearted moment.”
“We find it unfortunate and rather sad that known critics of the administration had to pull an old video of Secretary Tugade having clean fun with employees and put malice where there is none,” Libiran said.
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