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Political Rivals Lambast Duterte Over Rape 'Joke'

The mayor says he's willing to lose the presidency over his controversial remarks
by Andrei Medina | Apr 18, 2016
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Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had his hands full over the weekend as a video of him making a "joke" about an Australian rape-slay victim during the 1989 Davao hostage crisis went viral.

In the video, Duterte made the controversial remark after recalling how beautiful the victim was, saying that "Dapat, ang mayor muna ang mauna." Australian lay missionary Jacqueline Hamill was taken hostage by inmates inside Davao's Metrodiscom headquarters. She was gang-raped and had her throat slit before Duterte and the police could rescue her and two other foreign missionaries. 

For his comment, Duterte found himself at the receiving end of numerous tirades from angered netizens and his rivals for the presidency, the Inquirer reported.

"The rape of a woman is not a joking matter; this is barbarity… Women have rights; they are not playthings," administration bet and former Interior secretary Mar Roxas said.

Roxas' running mate, Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo, also a human rights lawyer, said issues involving rape was no laughing matter.

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"It is not right to make jokes about rape. We shall set a bad example to the youth if we poke fun at a crime that's as heinous as rape," she said.


Meanwhile, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe also pounced on the issue.

"Mr. Duterte, don't you have a mother? Don't you have a daughter? You are a crazy maniac who doesn't respect women and doesn't deserve to be president," Binay said.

"No one, whoever she is and whatever her looks may be, deserves to be raped and abused. Rape is a crime and is no laughing matter. We should all be outraged at abuses against women," Poe said.

The overwhelming reaction of the public and his rivals had Duterte on the defensive, prompting him to scramble a press conference where he said he didn't meant what he said as a joke but as a narrative.

"Totoo yun. Sinabi ko yun. Gutter language. But it was expressed in utter anger... I am even willing to lose the presidency. Do not make me apologize for something which I did na talagang was called for at that moment," he said.

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