Duterte apologizes to Kris Aquino
President Duterte apologized for Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson’s Facebook post that defended him for kissing a married Filipino woman in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday by comparing it to Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. receiving a buss from an admirer aboard a plane shortly before he was assassinated in 1983.
But Uson is not sorry at all for her FB post.
She categorically refused to apologize to Kris Aquino after the movie actress castigated her on Instagram for using her late father’s memory to justify the President’s behavior.
The President’s special assistant, Christopher “Bong” Go, told reporters earlier on Wednesday that Uson would apologize to Aquino, just like what he and the President did.
But on Wednesday afternoon, Uson posted on Facebook: “With all due respect to everyone involved, I decline to apologize for the truth.”
Before that post, Uson issued a brief video response to Aquino saying the matter was not about her.
‘It’s not about you’
“This is not about Kris Aquino. [This is about putting malice to one kiss. It was just compared to what other leaders like her father did],” Uson said.
“Ms Aquino, this is not about you,” she added.
Aquino earlier castigated Uson on Instagram for disrespecting her parents’ memory and warned her: “Do it once more, we will face each other.”
In a talk with reporters in Malacañang, Go said he apologized to Aquino for Uson’s post on Tuesday and that his apology included that of the President.
‘We are sorry’
“Kris Aquino reached out to me and we conveyed our apologies for the incident — we, meaning President Duterte and I,” Go said.
He said the President did not say much and probably understood Aquino’s point.
Go said the President told him to tell Aquino, “We are sorry for the incident.”
He said he had talked with Uson about her post and they agreed to put an end to the issue.
Social media was abuzz with photos and videos of the President on stage on Sunday asking a woman from an audience of Filipinos in Seoul, where he was on an official visit, to kiss him in exchange for a book he was handing out.
The woman, identified by the Philippine News Agency as Bea Kim, agreed.
Feminists called it the President’s “perverted way” of taunting female critics who are angered by frequent derogatory comments, some of a sexual nature.
Returning to Manila on Tuesday night, the President defended his behavior, saying those who were criticizing him were just jealous and that kissing women was part of his style.
‘Pure show biz’
Speaking to reporters at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the President described the kiss as “pure show biz” intended to entertain a crowd of Filipino expatriates.
“Everybody enjoyed it. Asking for malice, I do not do it in public if there is malice,” he said.
“During the campaign in my mayorship days, I kiss every woman there, lips to lips,” he said.
“It’s not just a smack, some women really like romance. That’s my style. You look for your style. There is nothing wrong in a simple kiss, you cause an uproar. They are just jealous. Tell them to replace their false teeth,” he said.
But the President, 73, ducked when asked how his partner, Honeylet Avanceña, reacted to the incident.
“That’s not a question. That is a question of perverts. Why do you have to dwell on kissing?” he said.
The President said he would resign if there were enough women who were offended and would sign a petition for him to step down.
“If there are enough women to … Well, I think if all women here would sign a petition for me to resign, I will resign,” he said.
There were no takers as of press time Wednesday, just opposition Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV lamenting the idolization of the President by his supporters.
“This is just an observation. Why would you be titillated?” Trillanes said in a talk with reporters. “Maybe he has really charmed the entire Philippines with a love potion.”
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a supporter of Mr. Duterte, posted on Twitter: “It’s not just about malice or style. It’s more about appropriateness and protocol. Let’s move on from here, get on with our lives, and not stress ourselves thinking of what the next ‘excitement’ could be.” —With reports from DJ Yap and the wires
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