Palace officials: Duterte’s remarks against women ‘mere play of words’
Malacañang’s top officials on Wednesday maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent remarks against women were “mere play of words” and that the online campaign criticizing the chief executive’s statements is clearly “political” and “unfair.”
The Palace executives were reacting to the #BabaeAko social media campaign against misogynism and sexism launched in response to the President’s controversial statement that the next Chief Justice “should not be a woman.”
In separate statements, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go said Duterte’s track record and the recent appointment of women in key leadership roles prove that he has a “high respect” for women.
“We reiterate that the President’s recent remarks on women are a mere play of words,” Roque said.
He pointed out that the appointments of Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to the Department of Tourism, Acting Sec.Virginia Orogo to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Commissioner Socorro Inting to the Commission on Elections are “proof that women can occupy leadership roles in his government.”
Go, on the other hand, said that when he was still mayor of Davao City, Duterte had pushed for local laws and created programs that upheld women’s rights. These include the Women Development Code and the creation of the Integrated Gender Development Division.
“Because of these advocacies, Davao City has been recognized as a Gender and Development Local Learning Hub in the Philippines,” Go said.
Roque said the President’s statement “reflects his growing frustration over the continuous and non-stop tirades against his administration by the ousted Chief Justice and the Ombudsman.”
Go added that Duterte’s “way of self-expression has always been taken out of context” that to say that the chief executive looks down on women is “truly unfair.”
“These allegations are clearly political,” he added.
Days after Duterte’s controversial statement, activists, using the #BabaeAko hashtag, have started posting on social media why they want to fight misogyny and sexism.
Personalities who joined the campaign include former Social Welfare Sec. Judy Taguiwalo, artist Mae Paner, journalist Inday Espina-Varona, doctor and activist Carol Araullo, editor Joel Pablo Salud, among others. /ee
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