According to Inquirer.net, Duterte made the statement last Wednesday while he was hosting more than 200 former rebels at the Malacañang Palace. He asked in Bisaya if the women are holding guns and was told that they “fight like Amazons.”
“Shoot her in the vagina,” Duterte said. “Tell the soldiers, ‘There’s a new order coming from mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina.'” The audience laughed at the statement.
This is frightening as a woman. The Gabriela Women’s Party said in a statement that this “encourages violence against women.” Not only that, he’s also pushing the armed forces to commit more human rights violations.
How does the Palace handle these sexist comments? They tell us it’s either “freedom of expression” or to just forgive the president. Now, he’s making a “joke” about shooting women in the vagina, which can be considered a war crime.
WAR in itself is an eco-system of violence. The singling out of women as specific targets of violence and subjects of particular punishment is NOT a joke. #WarCrimepic.twitter.com/MDiJOWIz7u
See? The more you make excuses for a man who disrespects women, be it in jest or not, he’ll just take it a step higher. If he can order soldiers to do that to NPA rebels, who’s to say he won’t say the same to other women that he sees as opposition? This sick cycle needs to stop before Duterte endangers more lives with his comments.