Duterte has rapist mentality, women groups say

“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.

‘Joke only’

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)


Women rise for truth, accountability

Gabriela Women’s Party joined women leaders from different sectors in launching the third One Billion Rising global event to fight violence against women during a press conference at Romulo’s Cafe in Quezon City. The Philippines’ main rising will be held at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila on February 14 starting at 8:00AM.

“Women all over the world and women in the Philippines continue to rise as government neo-liberal policies spawn further violence, work against the people’s economic welfare and exacerbate anti-women laws and policies,” said GWP Representative Emmi De Jesus in a press conference in Manila.

“Bumabangon ang mga Pilipina para panagutin ang administrasyong Aquino dahil sa lumalalang kahirapan at papatinding karahasan na nararanasan ng kababaihan at bata. Sa One Billion Rising for Revolution,sasayaw ang kababaihan at sambayanan para ipakita sa mga tiwaling lider ang pagkakaisa at pakikibaka hanggang makamit ang gobyernong naglilingkod sa interes ng masa,” De Jesus

Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan for her part said the rising of Filipino women is very timely. “This time women are also rising to voice out our demands for truth, justice and accountability. Filipino women are facing the big challenge of making those responsible for the state of unpeace in this country accountable.”

“Our dialogues with women from Mamasapano reveal how women, children and their families have suffered and how they continue to suffer as the Mamasapano incident triggers one cover-up after another, practically jeopardizing their demands for just peace.”

Ilagan who joined the fact-finding mission led by Kalinaw Mindanao in Tukanalipao, Mamasapano in Maguindanao is set to join various risings in Mindanao and will be part of the women’s rising in Davao City on February 14.

The Gabriela congresswoman said the call for OBR in 2015 “Rise for Revolution” is a call for systemic change for genuine women
empowerment and not just change of faces and personalities.

“Women can no longer tolerate the lies of Aquino government that prolongs the agony of joblessness, falling wages, worsening
violence. On February 14, we drum, dance, and rise with one billion people to add to the call for truth and accountability of the ruling regimes everywhere,” De Jesus concluded.

REP. EMMI A. DE JESUS 0917.3221203
Ed Atadero (Public Information Officer) 0915.1439219

Gabriela files resolution on GMA workers regularization

Gabriela Representative Emmi De Jesus filed House Resolution 1893 at the House of Representatives this morning, seeking an inquiry on alleged violations by GMA Network Inc. of labor code provisions on regularization of contractual employees.
De Jesus, fellow Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan and Quezon City 5th District Rep. Christopher Belmonte took the cudgels for the more than a hundred members of the Talents Association of GMA (TAG) who were refused regularization by the media conglomerate even after 15 years of continuous service to the company.
TAG members were cameramen, production assistants, editors, writers, researchers, and segment and executive producers of various GMA programs.
Most of them were terminated last December at the end of their respective “Talent Agreements” which categorize them as mere independent contractors and not as employees.
De Jesus hopes that HR 1893 would help in the passage of Gabriela’s House Bill 4396, a measure that seeks to stop labor-only contracting and to regulate job contracting and sub-contracting.
“I believe that media workers, who help keep the Filipino public informed and appraised of social justice issues must also be beneficiaries of social justice to keep their body and soul together and continue to provide this invaluable service to the nation,”De Jesus said in a statement.
“Press freedom is endangered if the rights of media workers themselves are not respected by media corporations,” TAG president Bowe Cabaluna, for his part, said.
TAG expressed gratitude to HR1893 sponsors and other media groups such as Altermidya, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications for supporting their struggle.