“Misogynist” Rodrigo Duterte fuels the rape mindset in country, women’s rights groups said in response to yet another controversial rape statement by the President.
Accusing him of having a “rapist mentality,” the group blasted Duterte’s statement that many rape attacks are happening in Davao because there are many beautiful women in the city.
“Ingon sila nga daghang rape ang Davao. Basta daghang gwapa, daghang rape gyud na,” Duterte said in a speech in Davao City Thursday, August 30. (They said there are many rape cases in Davao. As long as there are many beautiful women, there will be more rape cases.)
“Instead of seriously addressing the problem, the misogynist Duterte has added insult to the scars of rape survivors,” #BabaeAko said in a statement Friday.
The group said Duterte’s boast of his home city, Davao, being among the safest in the Philippines has been demolished by Philippine National Police (PNP) statistics that show it has the highest rape rate nationwide.
With 42 reported cases of rape in the second quarter of 2018, the PNP said Davao City has the highest number in the country during the period.
#BabaeAko said that more than his prohibition while still Davao mayor of women wearing shorts in public, Duterte’s anti-rape strategy failed because he is disrespectful of women and only sees them as mere sexual objects.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque tried to downplay the widespread backlash against Duterte’s controversial remark, saying people should not give too much weight to the President’s “joke”.
“Let’s just say there are standards of what is offensive and what is not offensive. It’s more liberal in the South,” Roque said in a press briefing in Malacañan Friday.
#BababeAko said it was not the first time the President has encouraged rapists and put the blame on women, however.
“In his presidential campaign, he grouched that as mayor, he should have been first to rape a foreign missionary. He slapped down his daughter, Sara, current mayor of Davao, calling her a ‘drama queen’ when she confessed to an experience of sexual assault. He has joked of pardons for soldiers who rape. He has offered Filipino “virgins” to filthy foreigners with purchasing power,” the group recalled.
#BabaeAko said the country does not deserve him “who willfully breaks our laws and encourages others to do the same, because his notion of power stops at coercive force.”
‘Spokesperson and defender’
Gabriela Women’s Party echoed #BabaeAko’s condemnation, saying Duterte sent yet again a very dangerous and distorted message in his latest rape remark
“He (Duterte) toys with Davao pride and misogyny to gloss over a very important detail — that women in his hometown Davao City suffered the most number of rape cases in the country,” GWP said.
President Duterte is proud to have rolled back whatever gains and legal mechanisms that have been instituted for women’s rights in Davao City, the group said.
“Is Pres. Duterte already the self-proclaimed spokesperson and defender of rape pertrators in Davao?” GWP Representative Emmi de Jesus for her part asked.
“We strongly condemn this latest flamboyant display of misogyny, which places more Filipino women at risk of rape. A person who finds pleasure in the mass killings of innocent people and who finds humor in demeaning women and enabling rapists is not fit to be President,” GWP added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)