Duterte’s first year ‘dangerous’ for women—Hontiveros
President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year is a year of “misogyny,” at least according to Senator Risa Hontiveros, as she notes the “surge in the culture of sexism” under the Chief Executive’s watch.
“The first year of the Duterte government is a dangerous year to be a woman. It is marked by a colossal human rights crisis. It is the year of misogyny and extrajudicial killings It is a year of national grieving,” Hontiveros said during a women’s forum at the Ateneo de Manila University on Friday, the transcript of which was released to the media.
Hontiveros, who also chairs the Senate committee on women, slammed Duterte for his “profound, palpable hatred and persecution of women leaders who dare stand up to the blatant disregard for human life.”
The opposition senator listed the examples that would show the “growing misogynist culture” in the Duterte government. These include Duterte’s “trivialization of rape, reference of women public leaders to body parts, catcalling a female reporter and justifying it as freedom of expression and as a compliment, the distasteful reality of gender-based online harassment, and slut-shaming, and fake news as weapons to stifle political dissent and lie to the public.”
The President has been criticized several times by different sectors, including his allies, for his foul mouth and his jokes about rape. Recently, he said he would answer for his soldiers even if they would rape up to three women.
But Hontiveros stressed that progressive women in the government will continue to resist.
“They can shame us with rape jokes, barrage us with fake news and threaten us with trumped up charges and even incarceration, but we will not relent. We will continue to resist. We need more progressive women to fight because if some men are too afraid to stand up for human dignity, then, it will be the courage of women that will take up the torch, beat the drum, and lead the way,” she said.
The lawmaker also said Duterte’s first anniversary in office should be a “day of remembrance” for the thousands of victims of extrajudicial killings in his brutal drug war.
If she would rate the President, Hontiveros said she would give him a grade of “eight to 12 thousand.”
Hontiveros’ grade for Duterte, she said, represents the number of people killed, based on the tallies of government and human rights groups, under his drug war.
“Even as the government downplays this colossal human rights crisis and in some cases, even denies the very existence of these killings, we need to remember. We must never forget or dismiss this sanctioned and deliberate crime against the people. The act of remembering is a revolutionary and courageous act. To forget is an assault upon truth. To forget is to erase our humanity. Our collective failure to remember is to kill again,” she said. IDL/rga
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