Just when you start to think Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has reached the height of depravity, he shocks the world yet again by coming up with something even more appalling.
This time he has ordered his soldiers to commit sexually violent acts against rebel women fighters.
“Tell the soldiers, 'There's a new order coming from the mayor. We won't kill you. We will just shoot your vagina,'” the president said, calling himself by his former title, in a speech last week.
The horrifying comments were made by someone who is supposed to be the protector of the nation.
What is even more upsetting is that he encouraged the offensive act twice, showing it wasn't a slip of the tongue, according to local media outlet Rappler.
“If there is no vagina, it would be useless,” he continued, asserting women have no purpose but to provide sexual gratification for men. His comments gained intense criticism from human rights agencies, who called them "misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements."
Human Rights Watch’s Carlos Conde said, "It encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, which is a violation of international humanitarian law.”
However, Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque insisted the comments were “funny” and accused women of “overreacting” to the president's comments.
“I mean, that's funny. Come on. Just laugh,” Roque said. According to the official transcript, the crowd, in fact, did laugh at the president’s comments.
The controversial leader’s “latest nasty remark openly encourages violence against women, contributes to the impunity on such, and further confirms himself as the most dangerous macho-fascist in the government right now,” Philippine government representative Emmi de Jesus said.
It is to be noted that this is not the first time Duterte has shown his inhumane side. The president previously made jokes about the rape of a kidnapped Australian missionary, Jacqueline Hamill, who was taken hostage during a visit to a jail.
"I was angry she was raped, yes that was one thing. But she was so beautiful; I think the mayor should have been first. What a waste," he quipped.
Duterte is also known for sexual comments about female politicians who raise concerns about his policies.
It is to be noted Duterte is also under investigation for crimes against humanity, associated with the country's war on drugs. However, according to him, imprisonment does not faze him as long as “conjugal visits by many women were possible.”
Duterte is also known for promising to kill “all of the country’s criminals,” especially those involved in drug trade. The notorious drug war has killed more than 12,000 Filipinos.
The dictator, though, has his supporters.
Great news - @IntlCrimCourt Prosecutor announces a preliminary investigation into #Philippines Prez #Duterte 's "drug war" https://t.co/PPDSGzE3rA Candidates for crimes against humanity charges via @hrw https://t.co/8gEDFZDn0X pic.twitter.com/T8St3dZwVV— Phelim Kine ?? (@PhelimKine) February 8, 2018
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters/Erik De Castro