IN yet another rape joke, foul-mouthed Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday quipped about congratulating rapists who commit the act even when they faced death.
Duterte shared his new joke with Filipino diplomats in his hometown of Davao in defence of his brutal drug war which has claimed thousands of lives since he assumed office last year, according to the South China Post (via AFP).
“What I don’t like are kids [being raped],” Duterte said in implying that the rapist would be lynched.
“You can mess with, maybe Miss Universe. Maybe I will even congratulate you for having the balls to rape somebody when you know you are going to die for your crime.”
Duterte’s remark was the latest in a series of unsavoury jokes as the leader has often been accused of making sexist jokes against women.
The president, who has previously boasted about killing criminals while he served as Davao city mayor, told the diplomats that he faked contracting tuberculosis to escape mandatory military training in college, according to the AFP.
Despite sharp criticisms from the international community and human rights groups, Duterte said he would continue the war on drugs.
“Human rights? That is bulls*** to me,” he said.
At least 3,200 people were slain in anti-drug operations in the country, the police said, but the number of unrecorded deaths of drug suspects caused by vigilante groups were estimated to triple the amount.
In May, Duterte sought to reassure soldiers who might be accused of committing abuses under martial law, and jokingly said that if any of them were to rape three women, he would personally claim responsibility for it.
“If you go down, I go down. But for this martial law and the consequences of martial law and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible, just do your job, I will take care of the rest,” Duterte said
“I’ll imprison you myself,” he said, referring to any soldiers who commit violations, then he joked: “If you had raped three, I will admit it, that’s on me.”
The comment sparked criticism on social media and Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US president Bill Clinton and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, called Duterte “a murderous thug with no regard for human rights.”
In the lead-up to his presidential election win last year, Duterte recalled a 1989 prison riot in which an Australian missionary was killed, and inmates had lined up to rape her.
In what was intended as a joke, Duterte said the victim was beautiful and as mayor of Davao city where the riot took place, he should have been first in line. He later apologized and said he did not intend disrespect to women or rape victims.
Duterte is known for his informal, no-nonsense style and his speeches are often loaded with profanity, threats and jokes about taboo subjects, which offend some, but are taken lightly by many Filipinos.
Additional reporting by Reuters