42 VIRGINS- Still on the subject of special offers, but this time a somewhat bizarre one, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, speaking at a business conference in New Delhi last month, offered "42 virgins" as an incentive for any Indian tourist visiting the Philippines this year.
Speaking at the Philippines-India Business Forum, which was meant to lure investors to the Philippines, Duterte told delegates in a reportedly rambling speech that he is "half-Muslim" and that the aims of Islamic State were devoid of any reason.
“It’s an ideology that is totally bankrupt, totally empty and the only objectives are to kill and to destroy for no reason at all,” he said.
“The come-on is that if you die a martyr, you go to heaven with 42 virgins waiting for you. Well if I could just make it a come-on also for those who would like to come to my country.” According to media reports on the event, he added: “I’d like to have the virgins here, not in heaven. God may not allow it.”
Duterte also said Indian businessmen should "avoid Mindanao" because "there's still martial law there," referring to the southern Philippine island, where armed Muslim rebels and fighters continue to battle government forces. In May 2017, Duterte created an international outrage by telling soldiers fighting in Mindanao that they could rape up to three women without getting punished.
Following Duterte's visit to India, his office announced that he secured U$1.25bn in "investment pledges" from Indian businessmen.
The president's office did not specify how many of them had taken up the embarrassing offer of the 42 virgins.