Filipino social media users have reacted with incredulity as President Rodrigo Duterte used a public speech to shame his son who had gone “missing”.
Security aides said Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, a 29-year-old surfer, was “uncontactable” last week.
In his speech the famously-blunt leader discussed his “lover boy” son’s private life and troubled relationships. His son later surfaced and addressed his whereabouts, but the incident has left many Filipinos perplexed.
“Good morning, Pa. Don’t get stressed. I’ve just been staying in the other house since 1 February,” the younger Duterte posted on Facebook.
The difficult relationship between Sebastian Duterte and his controversial father is well-documented, but many Filipinos online asked why a president would use a public speech to settle private matters.
“My youngest son is a jerk. He’s not been going home to his house anymore,” Mr Duterte said in a mixture of Tagalog, English and the Visayan dialect in his speech on Thursday.
He went on to compare Baste to his older siblings Sara and Paolo, both politicians in his stronghold of Davao city: “I’ve never had difficulty with my other children who are making good,” he said. Duterte: he controversial ‘strongman’ of the Philippines
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Duterte’s outspoken style and crime-fighting record have made him popular among Filipinos.
Those he has insulted include US leaders Barack Obama and Donald Trump, as well as Pope Francis.
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“Seems like he chose to remain un-contactable from his crazy father, I would have done the same thing if mine was up in my business,” commented Jiselle Maliano on Facebook.
“This is a president that can dig up where the drug addicts are but not even know the whereabouts of his own son,” said Zhevsky Requejo in a Facebook post.
“Someone pinch me, is Duterte dragging out dirty laundry,” questioned another Filipino. “Shaming corrupt politicians and criminals is one thing but have some sense to know when to draw the line with your family matters. Let’s stick to running the country.”
But Duterte supporters fired back in support of the president’s stand.
Some like Corazon Cabrera left comments on public Facebook posts by Baste, calling him out for not “listening to his father”.
“A real man takes care of his kids no matter what the relationship is with their mother,” she wrote. “If you can’t make a sacrifices for your children, you don’t deserve them. Shame on you.”