Duterte unaware of own apology for rape 'joke' - report

MANILA, Philippines - Just when people thought he already said sorry, presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday evening that he is unaware of the apology his camp issued to media for his rape 'joke.'
A report by CNN Philippines said that the tough-talking mayor denied knowledge of the apology when asked during his campaign in Iloilo City.
Duterte's party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, on Tuesday morning issued an apology attributed to the mayor. In another interview over CNN Philippines, Lito Banayo, a political adviser of Duterte, admitted that he drafted the apology but the mayor still had to approve it.
In Iloilo City, Duterte explained that what he was sorry about was the rape and deaths in the 1989 hostage crisis at a Davao City detention center and not the remarks he made "in the heat of anger."
"Huwag niyo ng ipilit hindi talaga ako mag-a-apologize," Duterte said as quoted in the report.
This statement by the tough-talking mayor is consistent with his earlier stance on the issue. After news broke out about Duterte's controversial joke, the mayor was asked by reporters on Sunday about issuing a public apology.
"I will not. As a matter of fact, I am even willing to lose the presidency. Do not make me apologize for something which I did na talagang it was called for," he said.
The mayor came under fire after a video posted on YouTube last Saturday showed him talking about Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill who was raped and killed in 1989. He likened the 36-year-old Hamill to an American actress and said that as mayor "he should have been first" to rape her. Duterte had been Davao City mayor for over a year when the incident happened.
His comments garnered the attention of international media and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely who tweeted: "Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialized."
With his denial, it seems the closest to an apology the mayor has made over his remarks was saying sorry for his use of "gutter language" which might have offended and led to people getting the wrong message. He earlier clarified that he was just narrating and not making 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," he said.

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