Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte slated for Miss Universe rape joke

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte slated for Miss Universe rape joke

Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte is no stranger to criticism - nor, sadly, quips about sexual assault - but his latest remark is proving to be perhaps his most provocative yet.

The 72-year-old has attracted both widespread condemnation and praise for his no-nonsense approach to the Philippines' drug problem, but it's his speeches that have been most divisive.

The latest comments came during a tourism event in Davao City, when he defended a stance on drugs that has seen thousands executed since he took office.

"What I don't like are kids [being raped]," he said, referencing the effect narcotics can have on those who take them.

But then he continued: "You can mess with, maybe Miss Universe. Maybe I will even congratulate you for having the balls to rape somebody when you know you are going to die [for the offence]."

The Miss Universe beauty pageant was hosted in the Philippines in January 2016, with a new bid expected to be made to host the event late this year.

It is not clear whether Duterte's comment will affect the island nation's chances of the Miss Universe pageant being hosted on their shores again.

The remark comes just two months after Mr Duterte joked that Filipino troops in the city of Marawi could rape up to three women before facing consequences for their actions.

He also drew ire for a comment he made during the election campaign last year, in which he said he was "angry" he wasn't the first to have sex with a "beautiful" Australian missionary before she was raped and killed.