A deplorable video clip featuring Philippines’ presidential front-runner has provoked a storm of protests and criticism both in the country and on social media.
Speaking at a recent rally, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte recalled a 1989 prison riot in his city where an Australian lay missionary, identified as 36-year-old Jacqueline Hamill, was taken hostage, gang raped, and killed during her visit to the jail.
Four other hostages also lost their lives during the chaos.
“They raped all of the women... There was this Australian lay minister ... when they took them out ... I saw her face and I thought, 'Son of a b***. What a pity ... they raped her, they all lined up,” the 71-year-old politician told a crowd of laughing supporters at a campaign rally. “I was mad she was raped, but she was so beautiful. I thought the mayor should have been first.”
The clip began making rounds on the internet almost immediately, prompting harsh criticism from rival politicians, public, and women's rights organizations all across the world.
Aust's Philippines Ambassador takes rare step of criticising presidential candidate -after appalling rape comments https://t.co/kPy0Th9jdM— Adam Harvey (@adharves) April 18, 2016
The Philippines prides itself on how we treat our women. Duterte makes a joke about rape, maids, and even VP candidate Leni Robredo. Shame!— Servant Rules (@borgyborgonia1) April 18, 2016
Fury over Philippines presidential candidate's gang rape 'joke' https://t.co/Te11hBqeXz— Eddie McClintock (@EddieMcClintock) April 18, 2016
And U thought our Presidential Race was a shit-show
President Benigno Aquino's representative Herminio Coloma said the comments show “lack of fitness for the presidency” and his “utter lack of respect for women,” while Human Rights Watch Deputy Asia Director Phil Robertson called the incident “a disgusting endorsement of sexual violence” for which Duterte should be utterly condemned.
However, the leading presidential candidate, who has been mayor of the southern Davao City on and off since 1986 and is helped largely by his anti-crime platform, remains unfazed. In fact, he told reporters he would rather lose the elections than apologize for a remark that, according to him, was “called for.”
“It was not a joke. I said it in a narrative,” Duterte told the media. “I was very angry when I spoke. I said 'Sons of whores, she is as pretty as an American movie star. They got to her before me. So kill them all.’ I said it in the heat of anger.”
He also said the remark was made in “gutter language.”
“I'm sorry in general. I'm sorry to the Filipino people, it's my style, it's my mouth, I said it in anger — listen to the story behind it,” the candidate added.
Watch the deplorable incident in the video below:
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters