Women’s rights group hits Duterte’s ‘sexist’ remark

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita |August 31,2018 - 08:28 PM

In yet another sexist remark, President Rodrigo Duterte in a speech in Mandaue City said women were being raped because they were pretty, citing cases in Davao City where “there were many beautiful women so there were many rape cases.”

The statement was met with criticism by different netizens and women’s groups, including women’s rights group Gabriela Cebu who named the president as the country’s top enabler of violence against women and children (VAWC).

Duterte was in Cebu last Thursday afternoon to attend the 49th Charter Day Celebration of Mandaue City where he gave a keynote speech.

During his speech that lasted for one hour and 13 minutes, President Duterte started talking about the peace and order situation in Davao City where he was mayor for 23 years.

He mentioned how residents would not drink, smoke or loiter in public places, until he mentioned about rape cases in Davao.

“Ingon sila nga daghang rape ang Davao. Basta daghang gwapa, daghang rape gyud na,” he told the crowd composed of Mandaue City officials, City Hall department heads and employees, as well as other guests who laughed at the president’s statement.

(They say there are a lot of rape cases in Davao. When there are a lot of beautiful women, there would always be a lot of rape cases.)

According to data released by the Philippine National Police, Davao City ranked first among major cities in the country with the highest number of rape cases at 42.

They are followed by Quezon City with 41, Manila with 32, Cagayan de Oro with 24, and Zamboanga City with 21.

Davao City police chief Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum earlier confirmed this report but he said recorded rape cases happen in private properties, making it hard for the police to control and monitor.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque already defended the President’s remark saying it was just a joke.

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Friday, Roque said the statement should not be taken seriously.

“I don’t think we should give too much weight on what the president says by way of a joke,” he said.

But this joke apparently did not sit well with women’s group Gabriela Cebu.

In a statement released yesterday, the group condemned the president’s “macho-fascist” comment saying it only perpetuates the worsening rape culture in the country.

“Gabriela Cebu is one with all the women and the people in reiterating that rape has nothing to do with a person’s beauty, or the rapists’ expression of affection towards rape victims,” the group said in their statement.

They criticized the President for being the “top encourager” of VAWC in the country.

They said ever since he became president, Mr. Duterte has “never ceased” to spew “anti-women and anti-people” pronouncements.

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