DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief and now senatorial aspirant Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa pulled a campaign stunt on Tuesday but it has raised the eye brows of women rights advocates, saying the stunt was crass, sexist and misogynist.
Speaking before the crowd, Dela Rosa joked that he once courted a Kapampangan woman while he’s still in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
“Sabi nila ang pinakamabilis na paraan para matuto ka ng salitang Kapampangan ay makipag lips-to-lips ka palagi ng Kapampangan para mabilis ‘yung transfer ng kaalaman,” Dela Rosa said in a jest.
“Eh, kaso binasted ako. Wala ‘di ako matuto (ng Kapampangan),” he added.
Dela Rosa’s campaign stunt prompted Kontra Bastos sa Eleksyon, a women’s rights advocates, to start a social media campaign against “misogynist and sexist conduct of aspiring candidates.”
The group lambasted Dela Rosa for his “disrespectful” remarks during the Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s campaign caravan in the vote-rich province of Pampanga, during the first day of campaign period on Tuesday.
Kontra Bastos said that it is upsetting to see that women are already attacked with these kinds of remarks by politicians even in the early part of the campaign period.
“During election season, women are always subjected to the display of machismo and misogynist remarks of candidates. Also, using women as entertainment is also widespread,” Clarice Palce, convenor of Kontra Bastos sa Eleksyon said.
While the group believed that women are still seen as not equal to men, Palce said that it worsens with the misogynist behavior perpetuated by the highest government official in the country, referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s conduct.
“What the people want is to have leaders that have respect not only to women but also to different genders, because it is important to have a free environment where women are safe from scurrility,” Palce added.
Gabriela Women’s Party 2nd representative Bail Ali Indayla condemned the remarks of Dela Rosa, saying it is not considered as a joke, but rather “distasteful.”
Indayla expressed dismay that allies of President Duterte seem to copy him in uttering foul remarks against women in front of the public.
“It only affirms to the macho-fascist leadership of Duterte where candidates follow him in showing macho views against the women,” Indayla said.
Gabriela emphasizes that campaign events should rather be used by the candidates to discuss platforms beneficial to the people, including the women and children. (davaotoday.com)