By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has utmost respect for Filipino women, Malacañang said in downplaying criticisms over the Chief Executive’s recent order to soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in their genitals.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President’s recent remark should not be taken literally by the public.
“Alam ninyo po, matapos ang isang taon at kalahati, dapat kakilala na natin ang Presidente. Paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, do not take the President literally but take him seriously [After one and half years, we should know the President by now. I’ve repeatedly said ‘Do not take the President literally but take him seriously’],” Roque said during a press conference in Kalinga.
“Ang mensahe po ng Presidente dahil wala na nga pong pagkakataon na magkaroon ng peace talks dahil puro katraydoran naman ang pinakita ng mga CPP-NPA, asahan ninyo po na tayo po ay papasok sa digmaan muli sa NPA, at tayo po ay magwawagi [The President’s message is because there is no chance to have peace talks due to the treason show by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army, you can expect us to wage war against the NPA and we will win],” he added.
Roque said if the President disrespected women, he would have not stopped the deployment of workers to Kuwait. He noted that most victims of abuse in Kuwait are women.
“‘Yung kanyang order na itigil na yan maski tayo mawawalan ng kita, iyan ay isang paghihiwatig, at puwreba na inuuuna ng ating Presidente ang interes hindi lang mga Pilipino kundi ng ating mga kababaihan [The President’s order stop the deployment even if we lose income is an indication, proof that the President prioritizes the interest not only of Filipinos but also our women],” he said.
“Hindi dapat binabastos, hindi inaapi, dapat ginagalang [They should not be disrespected, abused. They should be respected],” he added.
At an assembly of rebel-returnees in Malacañang last week, the President directed soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in their vagina. He claimed that women would be useless without their private parts.
Duterte mentioned the Visayan term “bisong,” or vagina in his speech although it was later replaced with a dash in the official transcript.
Some women groups have denounced the President for his latest misogynist remark.