Protesters cut President Rodrigo Duterte's "tongues" which allegedly represent his often derogatory statements towards women during a Valentine's Day rally Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018 in Manila, Philippines. Human rights groups have condemned the Philippine president for saying that troops should shoot female communist rebels in the genitals to render them "useless," which they said could encourage sexual violence and war crimes. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

‘We’re wrong for supporting Duterte’ — Mindanao women’s group
Gaea Katreena Cabico (philstar.com) - February 14, 2018 - 3:24pm
MANILA, Philippines — A women’s group based in Mindanao, who supported President Rodrigo Duterte during the elections, was incensed by the chief executive’s “utter disrespect” for women.
 
Gabriela Southern Mindanao Region was reacting to Duterte’s latest anti-women remark when he ordered soldiers to shoot female New People’s Army rebels in the vagina. 
 
It said the president’s sexualization of women rebels is not only directed to female revolutionaries but to all women. 
 
“His statements reflect a very disturbing deep-seated misogyny and sexism. They contradict the Women Development Code he signed in 1997,” the group said.
 
It was referring to Davao City’s ordinance to protect women and protect their development approved by Duterte when he was still the city mayor. 
 
During his second State of the Nation Address, Duterte also reiterated his commitment to fully implement the Magna Carta of Women to the barangay level. 
 

“Despite his expletives, cussing and misogynistic remarks, we supported him, hoping that he, indeed, would bring genuine change for the marginalized communities,” Gabriela Southern Mindanao said. “We were wrong.”

The women’s group, moreover, called on Duterte not to imitate the Ampatuans who did genital mutilation of the women victims in the gruesome murder in Maguindanao in 2009.
 
Individuals and groups both at home and abroad have previously blasted Duterte for his remarks which they said “normalized” and “encouraged” objectification, rape and other forms of violence toward women.
 
Duterte's officials and supporters usually dismiss such remarks as instances of "sarcasm" or part of the president's supposed humor.
 
In an online interview last week, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said women should just laugh off Duterte's comments about them and their bodies.
 
"You know, sometimes, these feminists are really a bit OA (overacting). I mean, that's funny. Come on. Just laugh," he said.
 

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