Duterte Calls the Philippines 'Republic of Marites'

Gossip left and right, he says.
Photo/s: Presidential Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said the Philippines had become a "Republic of Marites", a pop-culture reference for gossip as one of the national pastimes.

The outgoing President bantered with his Cabinet members during a late-night meeting if they wanted some gossip, saying he had a lot.

EXPLAINER: Marites Nation: Why Filipinos are so Invested in Celebrity Breakups

"This is a Republic of Marites na ngayon," Duterte said. "Lahat ng tao may tsismis, babae at lalake. Noon sa babae lang ‘yan," he added.

The moniker "Marites" became a staple on social media in 2021 to refer to gossipmongers, who found a ready audience in millions of Filipinos who are locked down in their homes due to the pandemic.

Duterte added that he felt sorry for women named "Marites" since it is now linked to gossip.

"Kawawa mga babae na pangalan Marites talaga," he said.

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