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CHR to Duterte: Stop rape jokes, review your language

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday, September 4, urged President Rodrigo Duterte to stop making rape jokes and using women as a punch line in his speeches.

"We hope the President be more careful in the use of language," CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon said. 

"Iyong usapan po ng rape ay hindi po dapat ginagawang joke lalo't higit mayroon tayong magna carta for women," he added. 

(Rape should never be made a laughing matter or a joke, especially since we have a magna carta for women.) 

On August 30, Duterte said there will always be rape cases in a place with "many beautiful women." He was reacting to recent reports about Davao City's high incidence of rape.

Despite the backlash over his remark, the President remains unapologetic. 

On Monday, September 3, Duterte said there's nothing wrong with attributing rape to the beauty of women, adding that he is protected by the right to free expression.

The CHR hopes the President will stop his misogynistic remarks as he had done with his threats against former United States president Barack Obama. 

"We hope that he might also review and reconsider the language he uses with respect to women," Gascon said.

This is not the first time Duterte offended women and not the first time he dismissed criticism over his offensive statements. (READ: From 'fragrant' Filipinas to shooting vaginas: Duterte's top 6 sexist remarks)

The CHR has also repeatedly asked the President to stop, adding that they "take all these matters seriously for the protection of women and to also prevent a rape culture [from developing] in this country." – Rappler.com

Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.

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