Duterte admits ogling Vice-President's legs

Mr Duterte (in black top) and Mrs Robredo (far left) in Tacloban City to mark the third anniversary of the Haiyan disaster. The President said he mentioned ogling the Vice-President's legs "to make people laugh because I was angry". The super typhoon
Mr Duterte (in black top) and Mrs Robredo (far left) in Tacloban City to mark the third anniversary of the Haiyan disaster. The President said he mentioned ogling the Vice-President's legs "to make people laugh because I was angry". The super typhoon had claimed more than 7,350 lives in 2013. This handout photo was released on Tuesday by the Presidential Photographers Division.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

MANILA • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he had once ogled Vice-President Leni Robredo's legs during a Cabinet meeting. The disclosure led Mrs Robredo to decry the comments as "inappropriate" and "tasteless".

Mr Duterte defended himself, saying he should not be faulted for staring at her legs, and blamed the media for making the incident an issue. "It's appropriate. As a matter of fact, it is good," he said at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 before leaving for Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

"So what's the problem there? Why make an issue? Sexist? There goes the media again," he continued. He said he mentioned how he used to ogle Mrs Robredo's legs "to make people laugh because I was angry" during the commemoration of the third year of the Super Typhoon Haiyan tragedy in Tacloban City on Tuesday.

He said: "What's so special about the body of a woman?... Do not exact-standard for me. I will do what I say and I say what I do. Those jokes like that are nothing."

Mrs Robredo said: "Tasteless remarks and inappropriate advances against women should have no place in our society. We should expect that most of all from our leaders."

PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2016, with the headline 'Duterte admits ogling Vice-President's legs'. Print Edition | Subscribe