President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has smeared the sexuality of opposition candidates.

The far-right leader took aim at former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, who is running in the May 13 midterm elections as a senatorial candidate for the Otso Diretso opposition coalition.



According to the Manila Bulletin newspaper, Duterte hit out at him during a campaign event.

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte smears rivals as ‘gay’ ahead of elections

He said: “This son of a b***h Hilbay. He did nothing when he was solicitor general. He filled his office with homosexuals.”

“He acts like a man and pretends that [actress] Agot is his girlfriend. Be true to yourself. You’re gay. Don’t hide behind a cover.

“You were made by God. God made a mistake. Just because he’s a God does not mean he is incapable of making mistakes.”

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. (NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty)

The leader, known for his bizarre outbursts, added: “To the gays: don’t get angry with me. I was once gay. It’s true.”

He also smeared two other opposition candidates, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno.

Addressing Trillanes, he said: “Is Trillanes a man or a woman? You don’t want to believe? Ask your gay friends. I challenge you.”

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Of Diokno, Duterte added: “You don’t know if he’s a woman or a man.”

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has anti-LGBT record

The Philippines is one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in Asia, with a 2014 poll finding that 73 percent of Filipinos believe homosexuality should be accepted.

However, Duterte is notorious for making outlandish comments about LGBT+ people.

In February, he claimed that 40 percent of rebel fighters are gay.

In 2017, he claimed that criminals are beyond help because prisons turn people gay.

He said:  “[Convicts] are already monsters in the sense that they are incapable of establishing a relationship with a woman.

“They develop aberration of the mind. They do not want to get out of prison because they get free food there…and they have lovers, they want to return to prison [to be] with their lovers.”

In 2016, then-US President Barack Obama cancelled a meeting with Duterte after he made homophobic comments about US Ambassador Philip Goldberg.

Duterte had said: “I had an argument with their gay ambassador, the son of a whore. He p***ed me off.”




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