Duterte says rape remark not a joke, apologizes to Filipinos

Apr. 18, 2016

MANILA, Philippines — Blame his “gutter language” but presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he will not apologize for his statements on rape, saying it was uttered in “utter anger” over the killing of hostages in 1989.

On Sunday, the Davao’s tough-talking mayor said that his remark was made of sheer anger. Duterte came under fire when a video in one of his campaign sorties on April 12 in Quezon City went viral this weekend.

“Totoo yon. Sinabi ko yon. [It is true. I said that] Gutter language, but it was expressed in utter anger,” he said.

“Sabi ko, o ito, ang ganda ganda pa, mukhang artista, putang ina naunahan pa ako. Patayin mo lahat. Sa galit yon. i was not joking (I said, this one, she’s beautiful, like an actress, son of a bitch they beat me to her. Kill them all. That was said in anger. I was not joking),” he said.

Duterte said the context of the statement was the hostage-taking incident in which a group of Christian missionaries — including an Australian Jaqueline Hamill — were taken hostage by a group of inmates led by Felipe Pugoy.  The incident ended in the deaths of five hostages, including Hamill, and 16 prisoners.

What went before

Duterte in an interview with Davao media on Sunday, relayed what happened in 1989 when he was called upon by former President Corazon Aquino to attend to a hostage taking in the Davao Penal Colony in Davao del Norte.

Duterte was then chairman of the peace and order council. The hostage taking took place during the end of the visiting hours. Sixteen convicts took a hostage each.

“I boarded a chopper of the Air Force and we surveyed the area,” Duterte recounted. He said the suspects and the hostages were already in the territory of the Agusan province when they blocked the highway and offered himself in exchange of a three-month old child and the child’s aunt.

Duterte also said he told the hostage-takers to take all of them at the Davao City Hall where they can talk.

“We went back to Davao City, ako ang hostage nila. It’s all in the footages of all the networks at that time. I told the soldiers na pag nakita nila akong may dugo, ubusin na nila ang lahat (If they see me with blood, they should finish them all),” he said.

Duterte said some of the convicts have already surrendered. But Pugoy did not. He said he would have shot three of the hostage-takers but former first district Rep. Jess Dureza called Pres. Aquino and told Duterte to resolve the crisis peacefully.

“Wala akong magawa. Tapos na sana yon. Si Jess Dureza ang ayaw (I can’t do anything, it’s supposed to be done already. It was Jess Dureza who didn’t want it),” he said.

A month after, Duterte said a group of “prayer warriors” including Hamill were taken as hostages by the same group. Mindanews.com reported that the second hostage-taking incident came four months after on August 13, 1989.

Duterte again wanted to negotiate, but the Army and the police did not agree since they do not have a clear line of sight.

While the authorities were waiting, the hostage-takers got outside taking with them as human shield “a child, two women including the Australian and there were two men,” Duterte said.

The hostage-takers asked for a jeep, but Duterte said he refused.

“May mga opisyal na pumayag. sabi ko ayaw ko. Magbarilan tayo dyan sa labas (There were officials who agreed but I said no. Let’s fight it out with them outside),” he said.

“They will fight it out. Pumilit sila. Yun na yun,” said Duterte. After the exchanges of gunfires the Army got the dead bodies and the criminals went back inside the Davao Metrodiscom jail.

Duterte said another negotiation took place, but he did not agree anymore after seeing a child who was killed in the barracks.

Gutter language 

“In my utter anger, that’s gutter language,” he said, describing how he spoke when he saw that Hamill was also among those killed.

“Sabi ko — oh ito, ang ganda ganda pa, mukhang artista, putang ina naunahan pa ako, patayin mo lahat. Sa galit yon (I said – this one is still beautiful. She looks like a celebrity. S_n of a b_tch they get to her first, kill them all. That’s out of my anger) I was not joking,” said Duterte.

Duterte said he got his uzi and fired the first volley of fire at the hostage-takers.

“I used up a magazine. All of them were killed,” he said.

His speech at the Amoranto Sports Complex on April 12 recounting what happened during the incident went viral. But Duterte said that was “gutter language” which he grew up speaking.

“Ganon ang mga lalaki magsalita. O putang ina naunahan mo pa ako, letse ka… That’s a cliche (That’s how men talks. S_n of a b_tch  you got to her first, That’s a cliche),” he said.

Duterte said he is not afraid that the statement would cost him the presidency.

“If  it brings me down, let it bring me down. If it brings me up to the presidency, then well and good. I will serve you but I will not, as a matter of honor apologize for (it).”

PWC: Rape is a heinous crime, not a laughingstock

The Philippine Commission on Women told the PDP-Laban’s presidential bet that rape was not a laughing stock.

“We call on every man and woman, boy and girl to be mindful of this serious and alarming issue. Let us be cautious of what we say and how we react. Our thoughts, words and actions should be grounded with our principle of respect,” the women’s advocacy group said in a statement.

“As citizens, we all have an indispensable role to play in creating a violence-free society. Let us dream and work collectively in creating a society where every person is valued, human dignity is upheld, and victims of despicable crimes such as rape are never denigrated to a laughingstock,” PWC added.

On the other hand, women’s partylist group Gabriela, in its statement posted in social media, has also demanded an apology from Duterte for the rape remark. “Mayor Rodrigo Duterte should immediately apologize for his statements making fun of rape.”  “Rape, or any form of sexual abuse is not a joke nor something to be trivialized in a joke, especially by a public official and most especially by those aspiring for the highest post in the land,” Gabriela said.

“We also challenge him to use his campaign to promote issues that will elevate the condition of women and their families,” the group said.

However, Duterte said: “Do not make me apologize for something which I did na talagang which was called for at that moment. I don’t care.”

“I will not die if I will not become president,” he added. (With a report from Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/davaotoday.com)

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