In what appears to be his most demeaning statement against women yet, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is under fire over his order to have women revolutionary fighters shot in their vaginas to render them “useless.”
“How could a statement such as that be acceptable? It was even made inside the Presidential Palace and uttered by no less than the President,” Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Emmi de Jesus said.
De Jesus said Duterte’s remarks is “very dangerous and alarming as it openly promotes state violence against women, further contributes to the climate of impunity of women’s rights abuses, and emboldens state forces to commit more violations of international humanitarian law.”
This is not the first time that Duterte gave a sexist remark. During the campaign period, he was heavily criticized for his supposed “joke” that he should have been the first person to rape the Australian missionary worker who was killed in a hostage-taking incident back in 1989.
“We hark back on the President, as a colleague in the legal profession, that it is a basic rule, so basic even a struggling freshman in law school would already know, to protect lives, human rights and dignity, be it in times of peace or war,” said the women members of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers.
Meanwhile, President Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque defended the president and quipped against “feminists” whom he finds as “OA” (overacting).
“I mean that’s funny. Come on. Just laugh,” he said.
However, RPRD executive director Fr. Jonash Joyohoy cannot find anything funny on the president’s latest remarks or in his spokesman lame excuse. He firmly reminded Roque that 22 women of the 57 victims of the infamous Ampatuan massacre, where Roque served as a private prosecutor, were sexually mutilated.
“It is almost useless to ask where their principles have gone much more their respect for human dignity. The temporary powers bequeathed to them have blinded them to forget the sacredness of the human body. And that despite the ongoing civil war in the country, parties must strictly adhere to international laws and instruments,” Fr. Joyohoy said.
RPRD or the Ramento Project for Rights Defenders is the human rights advocacy and services arm of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. (RPRD News)