Duterte defends adultery by friend
PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has again opened himself to criticism, this time for defending adultery by an old friend and political ally, House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Mr Alvarez created controversy in the past week in the conservative and mainly Catholic nation when he admitted to having fathered eight children, six of them with two women other than his wife.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, Mr Duterte said that like himself, Mr Alvarez had "many wives”.
"This is a world of hypocrisy. Who among you here does not have a mistress?” the President said, describing the controversy as "a non-issue”.
"But really there are so many women and you (have) so short a time in this world. My God!
"The thing there is that you're able to support the children. That's it.”
Mr Duterte said Mr Alvarez had "never converted to Christianity” so was "not bound by the rules of the number of women that you can have”.
However, while Muslim men are allowed to marry more than once in the Philippines, adultery remains a criminal offence.
Mr Duterte, 72, was elected by a landslide last year promising to kill drug dealers and other criminals. More than 7600 people have been killed so far in his war on drugs.