Duterte: I believe in women's competence, but not in all aspects
DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – After the backlash over his string of derogatory comments against women, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he believes in the "competence and capability" of women
Duterte, however, qualified his statement, saying in a speech in Davao City on Thursday, May 24, that female excellence does not apply to all aspects of life.
“I believe in the woman. The competence and capability pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat. Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang (but not in all aspects of life. Not you. No, no. It's just right). It’s not appropriate,” he said.
The President mentioned this while saying that when he was still Davao City mayor, he asked female soldiers to leave Paquibato, a district in his hometown under military watch because of the presence of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Citing this example, Duterte said he could not count on women at all times, claiming that "they could not stand threats and intimidation."
This month, Duterte became the subject of a social media campaign after he said in public that the next Ombudsman should not be a woman. (READ: Ombudsman Morales begins farewell: Don't be silent)
The campaign, called #BabaeAko (I am a Woman) movement, is spearheaded by female activists and supported by other concered women who want to fight the President’s sexist and misogynistic remarks.
In his speech Thursday, he allluded to the campaign: “Sabi ko nga, ayaw ko ng babae [na Ombudsman]. Nandiyan naman – ‘Kami ay mga babae.' Mga babae nga kayo, so anong problema (I said, I don't want a woman [for Ombudsman]. They have this – 'We are women.' So you're women, so what's the problem?)”
Duterte said women should be "prim and proper" and cited his personal reservations on deploying female soldiers and police because women are not used to combat, unlike men.
"Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko 'yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man 'yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na 'yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku," he said.
(I don't want to have female soldiers and police in the countryside. Unlike men, at a young age we've been engaged in fistfights, brawls, gunfights, And we grew up with a mindset that is sometimes probe to violence. These women, they are prim an proper. Just one look to their mother and they'll melt. Then you'll let them become cops and have them engage in fighting. Oh no.)
Duterte had been criticized for his sexist remarks against women. In February, he told a gathering of former NPA members that he had ordered soldiers to shoot femal rebels in the vagina instead of killing them. (READ: From 'fragrant' Filipinas to shooting vagines: Duterte's top 6 sexist remarks)
Human Rights Watch and other groups have called him out for the remark, as it encouraged state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, violating the international humanitarian law. Duterte defended his remarks as sarcasm. – Rappler.com