Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has told a crowd he "used to be gay" before he "cured" himself.

The president, who is known for his murderous war on drugs and worrying attitude towards press freedom, often makes Trump-like remarks. He once accused women of "depriving" him of his "freedom of expression" after he was criticised for making rape jokes. On this occasion, he dropped this zinger during a speech in Tokyo.

Duterte accused his political opponent Antonio Trillanes of being gay and then claimed he could sense he himself was also "a bit gay" while married to his ex-wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman. Though he said his new partner, Honeylet Avanceña, had “cured” him.

He said:

I became a man again! So beautiful women cured me.

I hated handsome men afterwards. I now prefer beautiful women.

Duterte has a history of making homophobic comments.

In 2016, he labelled the US ambassador to his country a "gay son of a bitch" in a speech. In 2017, he said he was against same-sex marriage. Though he also claimed that the rights of the LGBT+ community would be protected under his leadership.

At an LGBT+ conference in Davao City in the Philippines, he said:

There will be no oppression and we will recognise your importance in society.


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