Gabriela to Duterte: Apologize, rape is no laughing matter

Voltaire Tupaz

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Gabriela to Duterte: Apologize, rape is no laughing matter
'We challenge him to use his campaign to promote issues that will elevate the condition of women and their families'

MANILA, Philippines  – The progressive women’s group Gabriela called out presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte for joking about rape in  a viral video

“Sexual abuse is not a joke nor something to be trivialized in a joke, especially by one running for public office, and the highest post in the land no less. Duterte should apologize for making fun of rape,” Gabriela vice chairperson Gert Ranjo Libang told Rappler on Sunday, April 17. 

“Rape is a serious crime not just against women but against humanity,” Ranjo stressed. 

In the video, posted on Saturday, April 16, Duterte is seen speaking about an Australian missionary who was raped in Davao City.

Nirape nila lahat ng mga babae so ‘yung unang asolte, kasi nagretreat sila, naiwan yung ginawa nilang cover, ang isa doon yung layminister na Australyana. Tsk, problema na ito. Pag labas, edi binalot. Tiningnan ko yung mukha, ‘tangina parang artista sa America na maganda. Putangina, sayang ito. Ang nagpasok sa isip ko, nirape nila, pinagpilahan nila doon. Nagalit ako kasi nirape, oo isa rin ‘yun . Pero napakaganda, dapat ang mayor muna ang mauna. Sayang,” Duterte said in the one-minute video clip.

(All the women were raped so during the first assault, because they retreated, the bodies they used as a cover, one of them was the corpse of the Australian woman layminister. Tsk, this is a problem. When the bodies were brought out, they were wrapped. I looked at her face, son of a bitch, she looks like a beautiful American actress. Son of a bitch, what a waste. What came to mind was, they raped her, they lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste.)

Women took to social media to lambast the mayor for his comment, noting that trivializing the crime perpetuates the “rape culture”. 

“This is by far the best, clearerest example and understanding of what is meant by the phrase ‘rape culture’… Watch and listen. Sexual assault, rape, and violence are trivialized, made into jokes, it becomes the ‘norm’ straight from this ‘mayor’,” feminist artist Nikki Luna said in a Facebook post.

Duterte’s latest joke did not sit well even with some of his supporters and constituents in Davao City.

“I am Pro-Duterte, but I was turned off (by) Mayor Rody Duterte. I hope his campaign advisers will remind him to refrain from saying those kinds of jokes mixed with curses,” said Facebook user Pauline Mae Atian Publico in a mix of Filipino and English.

But others defended the Davao mayor, saying it was merely a ‘bad joke’.

“Perhaps he was saying to the rapist, how dare (you) rape her? Hindi mo man lang ako pinauna (I should have been first). Owing to his self-admission as a womanizer. Yes, it was a bad joke and I apologize for not presenting myself as his writer of jokes. But a persons sense of humor should not be made an issue when there should be other things more important things to discuss,” lawyer Bruce Rivera said in a Facebook post. 

But for Gabriela, rape is among the important women’s issues that Duterte should take seriously.

“We challenge him to use his campaign to promote issues that will elevate the condition of women and their families.”

The incident Duterte referred to in the video seemed to be the 1989 hostage-taking by Felipe Pugoy, an inmate of the Davao City Police Office. Pugoy had taken hostage of missionaries who had visited the DCPO to preach, including an Australian woman named Jacqueline Hammil.

Duterte said he ordered the shooting of the hostage-takers. –

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