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‘Victim-blaming’ Duterte should apologize for rape remark

Rappler.com
‘Victim-blaming’ Duterte should apologize for rape remark
(UPDATED) 'There is rape because there is a rapist, not because of anything about the victim,' says ACT Teachers Representative France Castro

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte should issue a public apology over his latest rape remark, a lawmaker said on Friday, August 31.

“We demand from Rodrigo Duterte immediate retraction of his latest [statement] and a public apology.  We demand that his administration ensure immediate justice for rape victims not only in Davao but for the entire country,” ACT Teachers Representative France Castro said in a statement.

Duterte on Thursday night gave his own take on why there was a high incidence of rape in his hometown, Davao City: there were “many beautiful women.” Malacañang shrugged it off as just another “joke” lost on the President’s critics and the people of Luzon.

“President Duterte has once again reared his ugly misogynist, chauvinist head.  Instead of answering the issue of rape in his city – in his country, for that matter – he again resorted to victim-blaming and crass, unfunny jokes,” Castro said.

She said Duterte’s statement is “unbecoming of any person, any public servant, most especially of the President.”

“There is rape because there is a rapist, not because of anything about the victim,” she said.

Castro said the President set a “bad example to children.” 

“Sa totoo lang, sa tuwing nagsasalita siya ng ganito ay kailangan pang burahin ng mga guro at magulang ang impression na binibigay niya sa mga bata sa kung ano dapat ang kilos at pananalita ng isang tunay na lalake, isang tunay na tao.  At hindi lang siya simpleng pagbubura na parang pagbubura sa blackboard dahil Presidente siya, supposedly an epitome of good character,” she said.

(Frankly, whenever he talks this way, teachers and parents have to erase the impression he gives to children on how a real man, a real person, should behave and speak. And this is not as simple as erasing something on the blackboard because he is President, supposedly an epitome of good character.)

‘Dangerous, distorted message’

Gabriel Women’s Party said Duterte has sent “a very dangerous and distorted message.”

“We reiterate that rape is a crime punishable under our laws, and it occurs only because of the rapist mentality being perpetrated by no less than the President. We strongly condemn this latest flamboyant display of misogyny, which places more Filipino women at risk of rape,” it said in a statement.

“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,” it added.

Akbayan Women said the high incidence of rape in Davao City “is a glaring failure of the Duterte dynasty’s legacy towards women.” Duterte was city mayor before he became president, while his daughter, Sara Duterte Carpio, is the incumbent local chief.

“More than two decades of local Duterte leadership did Davao no good.  The rape toll is a clear failure of local leadership. To make fun about it shameful,” it said in a statement on Saturday, September 1.

#BabaeAko also condemned Duterte’s latest rape remark and urged “all Filipinos to rise up against a President who spits on everything our ancestors fought and died for.”

“Instead of seriously addressing the problem, the misogynist Duterte has added insult to the scars of rape survivors,” it said.

“This country does not deserve a President who willfully breaks our laws and encourages others to do the same,  because his notion of power stops at coercive force,” it added.

Duterte made the controversial remark in a speech in Mandaue City on Thursday, August 30, in response to Philippine National Police data that his hometown has the highest number of rape cases in the country in the second quarter of 2018. 

The President has been strongly criticized for similar off-color remarks he made in the past, including his rape joke about an Australian missionary during the presidential campaign, and his remark that he would congratulate a rapist who had victimized a “Miss Universe” for his sheer courage. – Rappler.com