“They are shallow. I was just trying to make people laugh. They should not listen to us if they don’t like it.” Candidate Ronald dela Rosa, reacting to condemnations on his statement “The fastest way to learn Kapampangan was to kiss Pampanga women on the lips” in a campaign sortie in Central Luzon last February.
November 13, 2018
Full statement of University of the Philippines, Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan on fraternity-related violence, on the leaked messages from the Upsilon Sigma Phi fraternity. (Video by Jo Maline D. Mamangun)
“Ayaw namin kay Duterte dahil sa hindi maganda at mababa niyang pagtingin sa kababaihan.”—Gert Libang, Vice-Chairperson, Gabriela
“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)
This article by Karlo Mongaya is from Global Voices, an international and multilingual news site, and is republished on Kodao Productions as part of a content-sharing agreement.
Women’s rights advocates in the Philippines have launched the #BabaeAko (I am a woman) campaign aimed at calling out the “anti-women” remarks and behavior of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The campaign recently mobilized social media support after Duterte was criticized for kissing a married woman on the lips amidst the cheers of his supporters in a public function in Seoul, South Korea on June 3, 2018.
One aspect of the campaign encouraged women to post a video message addressed to Duterte followed by a pledge of “lalaban ako” (I will fight back).
Government spokesmen have justified the “kissing scene” as a “light moment” that is “accepted in Filipino culture” while Duterte himself boasted that “we enjoyed it” and that critics “are just envious”. To his critics, however, the event exhibited in full view Duterte’s notion of women as mere objects of desire and entertainment.
The #BabaeAko social media campaign was launched on May 20, 2018, shortly after Duterte made a statement that the next ombudsman should not be a woman. He has cursed UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard, put opposition Senator Leila de Lima in jail, and ousted Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno from office, among others.
Callamard, De Lima, and Sereno are all vocal critics of Duterte’s bloody war on drugs that has, according to some estimates, already killed over 20,000 people.
Duterte is notorious for giving rape jokes in his official speeches, having catcalled a female reporter in a press conference, and even having ordered troops to shoot female communist rebels in the genitals.
Below are some #BabaeAko posts on Facebook. This is by the Gabriela Women’s Party representative in Congress, Arlene Brosas:
I am a woman, Arlene Brosas, Gabriela Women’s Party representative in Congress. I am opposed to the macho, fascist, patriarchal, and feudal culture of the Duterte regime. I will fight back.
This is from a video by Judy Taguiwalo, a university professor and former cabinet member turned staunch critic of the Duterte administration:
I am a woman, Judy Taguiwalo, a patriotic teacher. I thought Duterte serves the Filipino people. It turns out he is subservient to [late dictator of the Philippines Ferdinand] Marcos, [former president of the Philippines] Gloria [Arroyo], [US President] Trump and China. For this just and free nation, I will fight back.
The next transcript is from a video by theater artist and activist Mae Paner, better known as Juana Change:
I am a woman, I am Juana Change, a patriotic artist. Through my art, I will continue to fight for truth and reason, justice and freedom, to the best of my ability. We will reckon with each other. I will fight back.
This is from a video by veteran journalist and press freedom advocate Inday Varona:
Babae ako, si Inday Espina Varona, isang lola. [I am a woman, Inday Varona, a grandmother.] I will not allow my grandchildren to grow up in a world without due process, where a President thinks of death and murder as the solution to social problems. Kaya lalaban ako. [Thus I will fight back.]
Here are some #BabaeAko posts on Twitter:
That you have none other than the president of the country trivializing rape and making jokes about sexual harassment. #BabaeAko allows anyone, not just women to speak out and be heard.https://t.co/5k4m0v05xx https://t.co/5k4m0v05xx
— Zena Dora (@ZenaD0ra) June 5, 2018
The Philippine President kissing a Filipina on the lips in South Korea made my stomach turn.
Duterte continuously abuses his power over women, the poor, and others whom he thinks he can exercise power over.
— Jean Enriquez (@jeanenriquez) June 3, 2018
It's 2018. Anyone who still thinks being a woman makes one less competent, tough, and courageous than a man can go back to the last century—and stay there. #BabaeAko
— Ceej Tantengco (@ceejtheday) May 25, 2018
— Tonyo Cruz (@tonyocruz) May 25, 2018
I am a mother, a teacher, a Filipino. I condemn Duterte for being a misogynist and making it “acceptable” for women to be hated and attacked. He is a foul-mouthed, lily-livered tyrant. My children, I, and this country deserve better. I will fight back.#BabaeAko pic.twitter.com/x5lu3uyKrh
— Miss Maggie (@MiaMagdalena) May 24, 2018
She was initially reluctant, but he is a very powerful man and the cheering crowd was putting her on the spot. Her eventual "consent" didn't make the act right.
— Giancarlo Garcia (@giandrocketman) June 3, 2018
In response, officials at Malacañan Palace (the official residence of the president) threw shade at the #BabaeAko campaign, saying this was merely “politically-motivated” against the president. Duterte then vowed to resign if “enough women” protest his controversial kiss. A #BabaeAko protest was held on Philippine Independence Day, June 12, in major cities in the country. #