Duterte speaks like a pimp, women’s rights group say
SAYING his remarks were reminiscent of language used by “pimps in prostitution dens,” women’s rights groups on Friday warned that putting Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang would set back the women’s cause for many years.
Ratcheting up their attacks on the Davao City mayor, representatives of women’s groups who earlier complained to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) about his sexist and demeaning remarks, held a press conference yesterday to denounce the Davao City mayor, now the front-runner in presidential election surveys.
“His remarks [about the Australian victim during a prison riot in 1989]…these are being said by pimps in prostitution establishments,” said Jean Enriquez, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking In Women-Asia Pacific.
“They need to be first, or the patron has to be first. That’s the system in a patriarchy, where sexism and machismo rule,” she told a press briefing in Quezon City.
Duterte came under fire last week for his outrageous recollection of a 1989 prison siege, remarking that he, as mayor, should have been first to rape an Australian lay missionary who was assaulted and slain by hostage-takers in a Davao penal facility.
In the same forum, socio-political activist and feminist Ana Maria Nemenzo said it was unacceptable for a Philippine leader to have a “subliminal wish” to be the first to rape a woman.
“All of the presidential candidates have weaknesses. But when Mayor Duterte spoke about that incident, that’s when his bad character was exposed,” she said.
A Duterte presidency, she said, would set back the women’s rights movement “many years.”
Nemenzo, coordinator of WomanHealth Philippines, said she was not discouraged by Duterte’s rise in the opinion polls, believing that the full impact of his controversial statements had not been reflected by the latest surveys.
Two recent surveys give Duterte a 7- to 12-point lead over his nearest rival Sen. Grace Poe.
Women’s groups filed a rights complaint against Duterte before the CHR on April 20. In response, Duterte initially said he wished to talk to the women, but later told them, through media, to “go to hell.”
Joshua Mata, secretary general of Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, said he and other men were sympathetic to the women’s cause.
“As a man, I am insulted by Duterte’s representation of men. Men are not that crass or vulgar, and most importantly, men respect women, especially those who love their mothers,” he said.
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