Another Duterte rape joke stirs controversy

Edith Regalado - The Philippine Star
Another Duterte rape joke stirs controversy
He shrugged off the report, saying, “daghan mang gwapa sa Davao, mao na (there are many beautiful women in Davao City, that is why),” during the 49th founding anniversary of Mandaue City in Cebu the other night.

MANILA, Philippines — In yet another controversial joke, President Duterte made light of the reported rise in rape cases in Davao City, attributing the spike to the many beautiful women in the locality that he governed for 23 years.

He shrugged off the report, saying, “daghan mang gwapa sa Davao, mao na (there are many beautiful women in Davao City, that is why),” during the 49th founding anniversary of Mandaue City in Cebu the other night.

Duterte has been boasting of Davao City as one of the safest places to live in in the country. He has also showcased the city as a model for communities, describing it as “comfortable enough to live for families.”

“Ingon sila nga daghang rape ang Davao. Basta daghang gwapa, daghang rape gyud na (They said there are so many rape cases in Davao. When there are many beautiful ladies, there would be many rape cases),” he was quoted as saying.

“Nobody agrees to do it on the first try. That is rape. Even when they are inside the cinema, she will push him away. ‘No, don’t’ she will say,” he added in Visayan.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said at yesterday’s briefing that the President’s statement should not be taken seriously, adding that humor in the Visayas and Mindanao is different from that in Luzon.

“I don’t think we should give too much weight on what the President says by way of a joke. Some may not approve but you know, I can tell you this already, there’s a difference between sense of humor in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” he added.

Duterte’s latest remark about rape was regarded by critics as an attempt to justify the high incidence of rape in Davao – 42 cases as recorded by the Philippine National Police from April to June this year.

Quezon City followed with 41 cases; Manila, 32; Cagayan de Oro, 24; and Zamboanga City, 21.

Duterte said he instilled discipline in Davao City during the 23 years that he was mayor. But members of the City Council have expressed alarm over the seven percent increase in rape cases.

It was not the first time that Duterte made headlines over jokes about rape.

During the campaign in 2016, he was criticized for joking about an Australian missionary who was held hostage and raped, her throat slashed before she was shot. He said then that the mayor should have been the first to rape her because she was beautiful.

His critics and women advocates have raised a howl over his apparent lack of respect for women.

“And from what I have seen myself, although I’m from Luzon, people in the South – particularly in Cebu and the Visayas –they don’t really take things as seriously as people in Luzon,” Roque said.

“They’re not OK with rape jokes but let’s just say that perhaps the standard of what is offensive and what is not offensive is more liberal in the South,” he added.

Meanwhile, Davao City still had the fourth lowest crime rate for the period, next to Ormoc City in Leyte, Cotabato City in Maguindanao and Puerto Princesa in Palawan. Angeles City in Pampanga had the fifth lowest crime rate, according to the PNP’s average monthly crime rate from January to July 2018.

The average monthly crime rate – the frequency of crime relative to the population of a locality over a certain period – pointed out that Naga City emerged with the highest crime rate at 202.80 percent. Average monthly crime rate includes index crimes – murder, rape, kidnapping, homicide and other serious offenses against person or property – and non-index crimes, which include less serious offenses such as that of special prohibitions and local ordinances.?Naga was followed by Mandaue City in Cebu, 169.49 percent; Pasay City, 141.84 percent; Iloilo, 139.24 percent; and Makati City, 130.74 percent. – With Christina Mendez

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