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By Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) | Updated July 15, 2017 - 2:47pm
Former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines met President Rodrigo Duterte at the Palace last year. PCOO, file
MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:28 p.m.) — President Rodrigo Duterte made another remark on rape on Friday, this time referring to contestants of a renowned beauty pageant.
Speaking at his hometown of Davao City, the president was talking about the “virulence” of the drug problem and its effects, including the rape of children.
The Philippine leader said that he would congratulate the criminals for raping somebody, implying that they would face consequences.
“Ang ayaw ko ‘yung bata. Kung pakialaman mo siguro ‘yung Miss Universe, (What I don't like is the rape of children. If you mess with, maybe, a Miss Universe [contestant]) maybe I would even congratulate you for having the balls to rape somebody when you know that you are going to die," Duterte said at the 11th Ambassadors' Tour Philippine Reception. The same is reflected in the official transcript released by the presidential office.
"Pero 'yung bata, 'yung mag-rape, tapos—mahirap 'yan (But raping kids, there's a problem),” Duterte added.
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Controversial rape remarks
During last year’s presidential campaign, then candidate Duterte created an international uproar after he made a joke about an Australian missionary, Jacqueline Hamill, who was working in a Davao City prison and was raped and killed during a riot by inmates in the 1980s.
“Ni-rape nila lahat ng babae... So ang unang casualty, ang isa dun 'yung lay minister na Australyana. Tsk, problema ito. Australyana eh! 'Pag labas, binalot. Tiningnan ko 'yung mukha. P********, parang artista sa Amerika na maganda. P********, sayang ito! Ang pumasok sa isip ko... ni-rape nila! Pinagpilahan nila! P******** ‘yan, nagalit na ako. Kasi ni rape? Ah, oo. Isa na rin 'yun. Napakaganda, dapat mayor muna ang mauna,” he said, to the laughter of his audience.
The comments created an online firestorm, and people condemned and defended Duterte.
Despite his controversial remarks during the campaign, Duterte still got a massive win after more than 16 million voted for him. However, this number was only a plurality and fell short of a majority, a rarity in multi-party Philippine politics.
Three days after he released his martial law edict placing Mindanao under army rule, Duterte told soldiers that he would answer for the repercussions of his declaration, even jesting that this included rape cases soldiers might face.
"Trabaho lang kayo. Ako na bahala. Ako na magpakulong sa inyo. Pag naka-rape ka ng tatlo, aminin ko na akin 'yun. 'Pag nag-asawa ka ng pang-apat, ah t*** i** bugbugin ka ng… (Just work, I'll take care of it. I will be the one to imprison you. If you have committed rape three times, I'll take responsibility for it. If you marry four, son of a bitch, you'll get beaten up by...)," the president said.
This again generated a lot of criticism for the controversial Duterte, with the daughter of former US President Bill Clinton, Chelsea, calling the president a "murderous thug."
Duterte also appeared to have linked drugs to the massacre case in Bulacan where a family of five was brutally murdered in its house.
The suspect, Carmelino Ibañes, has tested negative for drug use and since recanted his statement, saying the police tortured him into admitting the commission of the crime.
“[Y]ung namatay na mga inosente na drug-related, for example, holdup, rape, ganon, just like what happened in Bulacan the other week. Sabagay patay na sila,” Duterte said, referring to persons of interest who have been killed in the past weeks.
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