VIRAL NOW: Wacky Pose of President Duterte With Miss Universe Goes Viral
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took time out from his mission to slaughter drug-dealers by posing with Miss Universe contestants.
Addressing the pageant contestants he gushed how he had never been in a 'roomful of beautiful women', adding 'I hope this day will never end'.
Eighty-six women will vie for the Miss Universe crown on January 30 in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
The president, known for his expletives-laden speeches, said he read prepared remarks 'because they told me that I must behave in my language, in the adjectives that I would be using to characterize or define your beauty, all of you.'
The controversial 71-year-old has been criticized for a number of derogatory comments about women, including in November when he joked about looking at his Vice President Leni Robredo's skirt and knees in a Cabinet meeting.
During the presidential campaign last year, he also made a tasteless rape joke about an Australian murder victim.
His speech also departed from routine by not mentioning his deadly crackdown on illegal drugs.
Police figures show more than 7,000 people have been killed during Duterte's bloody campaign.
Duterte instead heaped praise on the Miss Universe contestants and later smiled as they had several pictures taken with him.
Speaking at the Malacanang presidential palace, he said: 'I must say that God is really good. Aside from the worries of governance, with all the troubles in the world, when we look at you, we forget the universe but only you.'
He thanked Miss Universe officials for allowing the Philippines to host the international pageant, which he said had brought enormous pride and joy for countries of winning candidates, including the Philippines, where three winners have come from.
He said: 'More than presenting beauty and brains, the Miss Universe competition or any beauty contestant for that matter is an opportunity for you to represent your country, to promote your advocacies, and to advance women empowerment to a greater audience.'