MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday joked that he only accepts dinner invitations from single women.
Duterte, who does not hide his appreciation for beautiful women, made the remark as he explained that he usually rejects dinner invitations.
“If you want to invite me [to dinner], first you must be a lady na walang sabit at may pambayad ka sa kinain natin (that is single and has money to pay for our meal),” he said in a speech during an event of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority in Taguig City.
“Kung medyo masama na ang tingin ko sa'yo, ako na mismo ang mag-aaya sayo,” he added.
(If I have my eye on you, I will personally ask you out.)
Duterte has drawn flak many times for his comments about women.
As a presidential candidate, he was heavily criticized for saying he should have had first dibs on an Australian woman raped in Davao City 1989.
In December last year, Duterte even recalled confessing to a Catholic priest about touching his maid while she was asleep.
He also courted controversy for kissing a Filipino migrant worker amid a speech in South Korea in June last year.
He also drew criticism for threatening to shoot female rebels in the genitals, and for saying that Davao City has the highest number of rape cases in the country because it has many beautiful women
Malacañang has several times asserted that Duterte's jokes must be taken as they are, saying he has "shown his respect and admiration to women and their abilities and competencies" as he has appointed key female government officials.
Earlier this month, Duterte signed a law against catcalling and sexist remarks. Malacañang said the President would be first to comply.