Duterte poised to apologize after taking flak for ‘rape-slay joke’ | mb.com.ph | Philippine News
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Duterte poised to apologize after taking flak for ‘rape-slay joke’

Presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was poised to issue an apology yesterday over his apparent offhanded “joke” about an Australian rape-slay victim in his city in 1989, his camp said yesterday.

Former presidential assistant for Mindanao Jesus Dureza, one of the key people in Duterte’s campaign, told the Manila Bulletin that the mayor was set to issue an apology as the video of him speaking nonchalantly of the fate of the victim drew a lot of flak on social media.

Duterte’s camp said his “apology” will be posted on his official Facebook account, “Rody Duterte.”

Malacañang has weighed in on the issue, saying that Duterte has allegedly proven that he is unfit to become the country’s next president.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. criticized Duterte for his disrespect for women and lack of maturity after making fun of the rape incident during a prison riot in Davao City several years ago.

“What does this statement say about the character of this candidate for President? It speaks volumes not just about his utter lack of respect for women, which was already well-known even before he launched his candidacy. He does not respect nor care for the sensitivities of the countries with whom the Philippines maintains cordial and cooperative relations,” Coloma said in a statement.

“Indeed, he has confirmed by word and deed why those who oppose his candidacy have expressed utmost concern about his lack of fitness for the presidency,” he added.

In a video circulating on the Internet, Duterte described the Australian rape victim as beautiful, adding the mayor should have been the first to commit such offense on the lady, Duterte’s supposed rape joke, however did not sit well with many groups who hit back at the mayor’s insensitivity.

Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill, among four of the hostages who died in the hands of inmates, was reportedly raped several times before her throat was slashed by a gang inside the jail during the hostage-taking incident sometime in 1989.

Coloma said Duterte has clearly “not matured nor evolved” since he first served as Davao City mayor in the 1980s, adding that his presidential bid “truly deserves serious scrutiny.”

“He makes fun of, and trivializes the rape and killing of a female missionary from a foreign land who was part of a team made up mostly of women and who were doing their part in reforming convicted prison inmates,” Coloma said.

“Instead of being concerned about the breach of prison security in Davao City, he laments that as mayor, he was upstaged by the prison inmates who committed the heinous crimes of rape and murder,” he added.

Rivals outraged

Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Mar Roxas lashed out at Duterte for making a joke out of the rape-slay incident.

“Rape is a serious problem. Anyone who laughs at the ultimate assault on the dignity of women should not be allowed to wield power,” said Roxas.

Roxas’ runningmate, Leni Robredo, said Duterte is sending a very dangerous message especially to the youth when he joked about rape as if there was nothing wrong about it.

“Galangin ho natin ang kababaihan lalo na taying tumatakbong pinuno ng bansa. Kaming mga lingkod bayan ay dapat maging huwaran ng taumbayan,” said Robredo, a seasoned human rights lawyer.

“Hindi magandang halimbawa ang ipinapakita natin sa kabataan kapag ang isang napakabigat na krimen tulad ng pang-gagahasa ay ginagawang katawa-tawa,” she added.

Presidential and vice-presidential tandem, Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero, also expressed outrage. (With reports from Hannah L. Torregoza, Aaron B. Recuenco, and Anna Liza Villas Alavaren)

  • Pilosopong Tambay

    Yan ba ang gusto nyong lider, lider na walang respeto sa ating mga kababaihan na alam naman nating isa sa mga importanteng pondasyon ng ating lipunan,Para sa akin hindi nararapat na kalimutan ang mga ganitong issue dahil alam naman natin na nangangailangan talaga ng tulong ang mga kababaihan sa ating bayan na tila nakakalimutan ng bigyan ng aksyon ng ibang tao na nasa pamahalaan.