Duterte: I am not antiwoman
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday denied he was against women leaders, even recalling offering himself to be taken captive in place of a woman during a 1989 hostage incident in Davao City.
During the signing of the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018 in Malacañang, the President urged the public not to believe the accusations of those behind the #BabaeAko social media campaign.
“Hindi ako nagbabastos ha. Huwag kayong maniwala d’yan sa mga ’yang babae-babae na kalaban ko (I’m not being rude. Don’t believe those critics of mine),” the President said.
He made the remarks following the launch of the #BabaeAko social media campaign by a network of female activists, which took the President to task for his allegedly misogynistic behavior.
The President has been under fire for his recent antiwomen remarks, as well as his alleged misogynistic attitude toward women.
Last week, the President commented that while he believed in the abilities of women, some jobs are not for them as they are “prim and proper” and “would melt with just one look from their mothers.”
He has also been criticized for saying he does not want a woman to lead the Office of the Ombudsman once Conchita Carpio Morales retires from government service.
In his speech on Monday, the President cited the 1989 hostage crisis in Davao City, during which 16 inmates held 15 members of a Protestant group.
The situation ended with the deaths of all hostage-takers and five captives, including Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill, who was allegedly raped by the suspects.
At one of his campaign rallies in the 2016 presidential election, Mr. Duterte commented on the dead missionary’s beauty and joked that he, then Davao City mayor, “should have been first” in line to rape her.
In his speech on Monday, the President rejected allegations that he was against women.
“Hindi ako nagyayabang ha. Sabihin ng mga babae na antiwoman ako. Maghanap ka ng presidente sa Pilipinas nagpa-hostage para sa babae. (I am not bragging. The women say I am antiwoman. But look for a President who would offer himself hostage for a woman),” he said.
Later, he asked the state-run television station to cut the live feed of his speech so he could freely talk about his sentiments.
“Sarahan mo ’yang television mo. Para atakehin natin itong mga babae (Switch off the television cameras so I can attack these women),” the President said in jest.
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