MANILA (UPDATE)—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said his partner, Honeylet Avanceña, was destined to become First Lady.
Duterte made the remark as he recalled how he asked Avanceña to return to the Philippines when he found out that the latter was pregnant with their daughter, Veronica, nicknamed Kitty.
"No guarantees kung ano titulo mo, but it's really a destiny na maging First Lady ka pero kung mayroon gusto sumunod, OK lang naman," the President said in a speech before the Filipino community in Japan.
Duterte met Avanceña, a 1988 Mutya ng Dabaw runner-up, during his first term as mayor of Davao City.
The President said he knew he loved Avanceña when the latter left him to work in the United States.
"Iniwan din nya ako. My God, ang babaeng ito, mahal ko talaga," he said.
He was previously married to Elizabeth Zimmerman with whom he has 3 children — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, incoming Davao City Rep. Paolo Duterte, and Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte.
Duterte is currently in Japan to attend the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia and to hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.