Last March 7, during a Department of Agriculture (DA) event held at the Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace, President Rodrigo Duterte stopped in the middle of his speech and remarked that DA undersecretary Berna Romulo Puyat's legs were distracting.
Duterte said, "Berna, nadi-distract ako, you close your legs. National TV, 'no. Nakikinig pa ba ang papa mo (Berna, I am getting distracted, you close your legs. This is national TV. Is your father still listening)?"
Puyat is the daughter of former senator and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alberto Romulo.
The unexpected comment is uttered by the President at the 22:04 mark of the video below. He was actually in the middle of discussing the killings that have happened in the country when he suddenly referred to the DA undersecretary's legs.
Duterte's comment drew mixed reactions. Some dismissed it as a joke, while others deemed it highly inappropriate.
In her report for Asian Dragon magazine, Olivia Lime-Aw revealed, "In an exclusive telephone interview, President Duterte said that he had personally apologized to USEC Berna Romulo Puyat."
Duterte was quoted as saying, "You know I respect USEC Berna Romulo Puyat a lot and so I would never do anything to offend her."