Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been slammed by women’s groups after admitting he had touched his domestic worker inappropriately when he was young. He also claimed he had been molested by a priest.
Duterte said in a speech in Kidapawan City on Saturday that when he was a teenager, he went into a domestic worker’s room while she was asleep and touched her inappropriately.
He said he then confessed the incident to a priest at the Catholic school he was attending, ABS-CBN reported. However, he also claimed he was molested by the priest. He did not specify what kind of abuse he had allegedly experienced.
“While we’re confessing, they touch us,” Duterte said, referring to Catholic priests who molested children. “All children went through that.”
He disclosed the incidents while criticizing the Catholic church about alleged cases of sexual abuse by priests. A women’s group said Duterte’s comments were unsettling.
It was “deeply disturbing” as Duterte was bragging about touching and attempting to rape a domestic worker when he was young, Jom Salvador, the Secretary-General of Gabriela, a women’s group, was quoted as saying in another news report.
Duterte has often made controversial speeches. In May 2017, he jokingly told soldiers who were sent to fight against Islamic militants in Marawi that if any of them were to rape three women, he would personally claim responsibility for it.
In June 2018, the president was heavily criticized by women’s groups after he kissed an overseas Filipino worker on her lip on stage during his three-day visit to South Korea. He also reportedly asked the woman whether she was single.