Manila, Philippines – Previously criticized for objectifying women in cabinet meetings, campaign rallies and press conference, President Rodrigo Duterte is at it once again. This time, he drew laughter from the crowd after joking that he was being distracted by the legs of a Department of Agriculture (DA) senior official.
In a DA event, Tuesday afternoon, Duterte said in his speech: “Berna, nadi-distract ako, you close your legs. National TV ‘no. Nakikinig pa ba ang papa mo?” [Berna, I am getting distracted, close your legs. This is national TV. Is your father still listening?”
As reported by ABS-CBN news, his statement was directed to a senior official of the Department of Agriculture, undersecretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat. Puyat is the daughter of ex-Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary and former senator Alberto Romulo.
He has been consistent in expressing his liking for the mestiza widow. In a 2015 photo which was posted by a certain website, Puyat and Duterte were seen holding each other’s hands. In fact, the president has referred to her as an ideal first lady. In one of his interviews at the time when he was still undecided and gauging whether running for president is the right thing to do, then-Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said: “Election or no election, Berna remains to be my ideal first lady.”
The Asian Dragon magazine interview, published in 2015, also reported Duterte saying: “She’s the one person I’m proud of showing to the world.”
It can also be remembered that the president jokingly told the press that he check out Leni Robredo’s legs during cabinet meetings, which was reported in a GMA article.
Watch the video below: