Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told soldiers to shoot female rebels' genitals. Photo: Bloomberg

By Lindsay Murdoch
13 February 2018

(The Sydney Morning Herald) – Women’s groups and human rights advocates have condemned Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for encouraging soldiers to shoot female rebels in their genitals, the latest in a series of violent, misogynist remarks.

Duterte, a former provincial mayor, told a group of former communist rebels to “tell the soldiers … there’s a new order from the mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina.”

“If there is no vagina, it would be useless,” he said, appearing to imply that women are useless without their genitals.

The President’s Communications Office included the comments in the official transcript of a speech but replaced the word “vagina” with a dash.

Emmi de Jesus, an MP representing the Gabriela Woman’s Party, denounced the remark as “nasty” and said it will contribute to a culture of impunity in the country.

She said Duterte is taking “state terrorism against women to a whole new level” and “further confirms himself as the most dangerous macho-fascist in the government right now".

Carlos Conde, a representative of Human Rights Watch in the Philippines, said the remark “encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict which is a violation of international humanitarian law” and are the “latest in a series of misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements he has made against women. […]

While campaigning for the presidency he joked about wanting to be first in line to rape a kidnapped Australian missionary because she was “beautiful". […]

In July 2017 he made rape jokes while talking about Miss Universe.

Earlier, he told soldiers battling Muslim fighters in the besieged southern city of Marawi they could rape up to three women a day without getting punished.

Harry Roque, the President’s spokesman, defended the remarks by saying critics should lighten up.

“I mean, that’s funny. Come on, just laugh,” he said, adding “people identify with his humour”.

Often when challenged for making outrageous remarks Duterte has insisted he was just joking.

But his rule has been defined by violence, including a crackdown on drugs that has left more than 14,000 mostly poor Filipinos dead, the largest number of civilian deaths in Asia for decades. [more]

Duterte tells soldiers to shoot female rebels in their genitals



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