Current Affairs

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte smears election opponents as ‘gay’

Nick Duffy April 17, 2019
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President Rodrigo Duterte speaks at the 39th birthday party of Boxer Manny Pacquiao at KCC convention center on December 17, 2017 in General Santos, Philippines.

Rodrigo Duterte has made multiple anti-gay comments. (Jeoffrey Maitem/Getty)

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.”

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.”

More: Asia, Gay, Philippines, Philippines, president, Rodrigo Duterte

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