PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday recalled that he playfully spanked the buttocks of his female security aides.
“It’s done jokingly. The female police officers, I usually spank their behind. I’m like that. In Malacañang, if I’m mad, I carry a folder [to spank],” Duterte told his fellow alumni from the San Beda College of Law.
Before this, the President said his alma matter should have accepted female students during his time so he could have done better in his studies.
“In San Beda, if only you had allowed before, Father, that girls would be allowed to be our classmates, I could have done better. Especially beautiful ones,” Duterte also said, drawing laughter from the audience.
Duterte brought up an instance where he teased Vice President Leni Robredo for wearing a skirt, before observing that there are “too many restrictions in the modern times.’’
“The problem is, in these modern times … everything is banned,” Duterte said.
On one occasion, Duterte openly flirted with Robredo in front of hundreds of survivors of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in Tacloban City.
Speaking at the event marking the tragedy’s third year, Duterte told his audience how he and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez once ogled at Robredo’s knees during a Cabinet meeting.
He said Robredo, who was visibly uneasy while the President was talking about her, would come to their meeting in Malacañang wearing short skirts.
“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,” Duterte said in Filipino as he stared at the vice president, eliciting giggles from the crowd.
He said he used to sit beside Robredo during their Cabinet meeting, but the protocol officer in Malacañang apparently noticed that he would just stay behind her.
“You know ma’am Leni would always wear skirts which are shorter than usual. At one time, Dominguez asked me to come closer because I was far from them. But I told him, ‘Come here. Look at [Robredo’s] knees’,” he said as the crowd laughed again.
“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,” he continued.
The President also asked Robredo, the widow of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, in jest if rumors were true that she had found a boyfriend.
“Don’t be offended. Is it true? If it’s true, a congressman may be killed,” he said.
Duterte said he would often tease Robredo to lighten the mood when their meetings become dull and filled with tension.
The President had previously drawn the ire of women’s groups for kissing young women during the campaign.
He also drew flak when he joked about the gang rape of Australian missionary worker Jaqueline Hamill when he was still the mayor of Davao City in 1989.