Australia: Rape should never be joked about

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Australia broke its silence on Monday following the controversial remark of presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

"Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialised. Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere," Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely said via Twitter.

A video of the presidential aspirant talking about an Australian lay minister rape victim went viral on Saturday. Duterte was speaking at a political rally and telling a story about an operation against criminals who raped a number of women.

In the video, Duterte described the rape victim as beautiful and compared her to an American actress. The mayor drew flak for saying that he should "have been first."

READ: Duterte on rape 'joke': No apologies

On his Facebook page, Duterte denied that his remark on the incident was a joke.

"No, it was not a joke. I said it in a narrative. I was not smiling. I was just talking plain sense narrative," Duterte told reporters on Sunday.

Duterte apologized in general for his remark and said that it was made in "gutter language" and in "utter anger."

"I am sorry in general. I am sorry for the Filipino people. It is my style. It is my mouth. I said that in the heat of anger. But listen to the story behind," the mayor said.

Meanwhile, presidential aspirants Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar "Jojo" Binay condemnded Duterte's remarks for disrespecting women and making fun of rape.

RELATED: Rivals scold Duterte for remark on rape victim

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