PH President Duterte tried to grope domestic helper's crotch during birthday celebration - Alvinology

PH President Duterte tried to grope domestic helper’s crotch during birthday celebration

There is a viral video that shows Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attempting to touch a domestic helper’s genitals, but failing after the female worker was able to dodge his advance while she held his birthday cake.

President Duterte recently celebrated his birthday in his hometown of Davao City on Sunday, March 28, after placing the country’s capital and surrounding provinces in a Circuit Breaker-like lockdown. His long-time aide, Senator Bong Go, posted a photo of his boss celebrating his birthday with a single candle on a curious cake: a cup-noodle shaped mound of rice.

Netizens praised and slammed the post for different reasons, but a viral video soon followed, which showed a different angle of the president’s birthday spread. Aside from the suckling pig, it also featured more dishes and a domestic helper handing the Philippine leader a smaller, different cake.

On the Senator’s Instagram stories, however, a longer clip included an incident where Duterte’s hand reached for the domestic helper’s genital area. The female helper was able to dodge the hand. Watch it below:

WARNING: SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRIGGER

At the 00:28 time stamp, the Philippine president’s hand gestured towards the helper’s crotch, but she retreated. She was also holding another smaller birthday cake.

Philippine officials defend groping as having “no malice”

Netizens have slammed the video, denouncing the act as groping. Government officials have spoken on the issue since, saying that there was “no malice” in the president’s actions, and offering various reasons as to why the gesture was harmless.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque addressed the public clamor regarding the incident, saying that the president was known for his jokes. He also said that the domestic helper has been with the Duterte family for years, and was used to such treatment.

PH President Duterte tried to grope domestic helper's crotch during birthday celebration - Alvinology

He also added that since the president’s common-law wife was present at the table and saw the incident, that there was no malice with what occurred. Roque mentioned that complaints from the public about what happened in the video were invalid, and that only the domestic helper in question or other people in the same house had the right to speak up.

“Matagal niya nang kasambahay yun, eh (That lady has been his house helper for a long time now),” he said.

“Alam niyo naman talagang palabiro ang ating Presidente pero wala pong malisya yun dahil nakaharap naman po doon si Ma’am Honeylet (You know that the President likes to crack jokes but there was no malice there since Ma’am Honeylet was there),” he added, referring to Duterte’s common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña.

Duterte admitted to molesting a maid, made rape joke about a nun

This was not the Philippine president’s first rodeo with sexual harassment controversies. In a CNN Philippines report from 2018, the president mentioned a disturbing incident involving his teenage self and their female helper. The event was a talk about land distribution.

The report said, “Duterte claimed he told a priest in a confessional that he went into the maid’s room and reached under her blanket, according to a transcript of the remarks, made in a mixture of Filipino and English, posted on the Philippines Presidential Communication Office’s website.”

Government officials said that the president had “made up” the story for the priest’s benefit in the confession booth.

Comments made by the president about rape also resurfaced, including a well-known incident where the former-mayor Duterte (he served as the mayor of Davao City, Philippines for 22 years before becoming the president) lambasted a female Australian missionary who was also a nun, that ran afoul of government authorities.

The viral video that was uploaded on several YouTube accounts featured the presiden saying, “P***** i**, sayang ito. Ang nagpasok sa isip ko, nirape nila, pinagpilahan nila doon. Nagalit ako kasi nirape? Oo, isa rin ‘yun . Pero napakaganda, dapat ang mayor muna ang mauna. Sayang,” he added.

(Son of a b****, what a waste. I was thinking that they raped her and lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first, what a waste.)

President Duterte turned 76 years old on March 28, and was said to plan to fly back to the nation’s capital after celebrating.

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