Duterte to consider legalizing same-sex marriage if he becomes president

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Alan Peter Cayetano (L) and Rodrigo Duterte (R) meet with people in the University in the Philippines.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Should he win the national elections, presidential candidate Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte said he would consider legalizing same-sex marriage if a proposal is presented to him.

"If it reaches me in whatever capacity, I'll consider it," Duterte said on Thursday (February 18).

The Davao City mayor said the law mandates that marriage is between man and woman.

Also read: Pacquiao 'not condemning anyone' with same-sex union comment

Duterte, who stressed he is against harrassment and bigotry, also believes members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community should be welcome to join the military.

Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao drew flak for his remaks on same-sex unions, which has led Nike Inc. to drop him as its endorser.

Related: Nike contract termination shouldn't affect Pacquiao's legacy — sports analyst

Pacquiao had earlier said that people who engage in same-sex unions are "worse than animals."

During CNN Philippines' Town Hall in the University of the Philippines, Duterte said the boxing icon is entitled to his opinion and people should respect that.

"I will respect his opinion," he said. "I would tell everybody including the gay community I may not agree with what you say but I will defend the right for you to do it."