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Australia amid Duterte quip: Rape is not a joke

MANILA, Philippines – Australia condemned jokes about rape and murder after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines' leading presidential candidate, joked about a 1989 incident involving an Australian missionary.

"Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialized," Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely said Monday, April 18.

"Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere," Gorely added, without explicitly referring to Duterte.

Gorely made this statement as Duterte faces public outrage after he joked about an Australian missionary raped in 1989

Duterte said in a recent campaign sortie: "Ni-rape nila lahat ng mga babae so 'yung unang asolte, kasi nagretreat sila, naiwan yung ginawa nilang cover, ang isa doon yung lay minister 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."

(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 lay minister. 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.)

Duterte refused to apologize for his joke, saying he is even willing to risk his presidential bid.

"I am willing to lose the presidency. Do not make me apologize for something... [which] was called for at the moment," he said. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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