President Rodrigo Duterte befriended a reporter of PTV-4 while answering questions from other journalists from Davao City in an early press briefing on Wednesday, .
The president was bashing Senator Leila de Lima for an alleged new love affair which he claims caused her to commit “serious violations of the law”.
Duterte in the press briefing invited PTV-4 reporter Lala Babilonia for a snack of the fruit Durian after replying to her question about the ceasefire declared by communist rebels.
“Ma’am, I am inviting you. Do you eat Durian?” he asked, to which Babilonia replied “Of course, sir” while smiling.
“Of course? Then we should be together, of course also. You can catch up with us later.” Duterte replied.
After the 40-minute briefing, the president sought out the reporter to pursue his invitation “What about us, ma’am?” he asked her.
“Grabe sir… Pag-ibig agad? (That’s too much sir… You’re already talking about love?)” said a chuckling Babilonia
“Walang grabe-grabe sa pag-ibig. Ano ka man? (There’s no such thing as ‘too much’ when it comes to love. What are you talking about?),” the President responded.
Duterte has been criticized by women’s groups and international press for his overly sexist remarks and pronouncements, even a joke about the rape-murder of an Australian missionary in prison hostage crisis. He also wolf-whistled at GMA reporter Mariz Umali in a live press conference.
He has admitted to having two girlfriends besides common-law partner, Cielo Avanceña , whom he has a 12-year-old daughter, Veronica.
He also had three children with ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman. MJM