Duterte jokes about â42 virginsâ to promote tourism in the Philippines

Individuals and groups both at home and abroad blasted Duterte for his remarks which they said “normalized” and “encouraged” objectification, rape and other forms of violence toward women. Krizjohn Rosales, File

Duterte jokes about ‘42 virgins’ to promote tourism in the Philippines
Gaea Katreena Cabico (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2018 - 5:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte, who has been criticized for casually talking about rape, joked that he would like to lure tourists to the Philippines with virgins during his last day in India.

Speaking to Indian and Filipino businessmen Friday, Duterte said that Islamic State extremists lure followers with the promise of “42 virgins” in heaven.

“The come-on is that if you die a martyr, you go to heaven with 42 virgins waiting for you. If I could just make it a come-on also for those who’d like to go to my country,” he said.

In Islam, the most prominent reward that Palestinian martyrs are promised are the 72 virgins in the paradise.

Duterte, a son of a Maranao woman, said that ISIS do not have monopoly of making promises about virgins.

“And I said, one of the most is promising virgins when you go to heaven. I’d like to have the virgins here, not in heaven. God may not allow it,” the chief executive, a self-confessed womanizer, said.

His remarks elicited soft laughter from the crowd.

Individuals and groups both at home and abroad blasted Duterte for his remarks which they said “normalized” and “encouraged” objectification, rape and other forms of violence toward women.

The president has joked about congratulating anyone who had the balls to rape a Miss Universe candidate despite knowing the punishment before diplomats.

Duterte, when he was still campaigning for the presidency, talked about an Australian lay minister rape victim whom he described as beautiful. The then-mayor was heavily denounced for saying that he should "have been first."

At the height of the fighting in Marawi City, the president told soldiers that he would answer for the consequences of military rule in Mindanao, including cases of rape by soldiers.

Officials of the president's office usually dismiss such remarks as instances of "sarcasm" or part of the president's supposed humor.

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