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Philippines: Duterte tells CHR, women's groups: Go to hell!
MANILA - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday told the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and those who filed a complaint against him on account of his alleged offensive remarks on rape to go to hell.
"Human rights? Idemanda ako? You go to hell! You go to hell! That's my... Human rights? You go to hell!" Duterte told a cheering crowd.
The PDP-Laban presidential candidate added that he will not answer the summons of the CHR and will merely throw it away.
Duterte admitted that he may have a foul mouth, but said no one can question his actions as he was merely exercising his constitutional right of freedom of expression.
"You know, this is a democracy. There is a Constitution. Ang pinaka-importante, cardinal rights... freedom of expression!" Duterte said.
"It is a sacred right. Nobody can question my mouth!" he added.
Gabriela to Duterte: Womanizing and flaunting it is an affront to women
By Gabriela Women's Party (GWP)
Presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s statements and actions that denigrate women run counter with Gabriela and Gabriela Women’s Party’s principle of upholding respect for women.
Womanizing and treating women as objects are an affront to women and it should not be flaunted. These reek of machismo, reinforces the society’s low regard of women and consequently increases women’s vulnerability to violence and abuse. This is both distasteful and unacceptable.
Gabriela and Gabriela Women's Party reiterate the call to all candidates especially those running for the highest position, including and especially Duterte to refrain from making statements and committing acts that are offensive to women.
Those setting their sights on ruling the country must impose upon themselves, the highest standards towards uplifting society's views on women and helping ensure the protection of women from abuse.
We urge Duterte and other candidates to delve into platforms and discuss women's and people's issues rather than employ derogatory statements and actions that malign women.
Gabriela to Duterte: Apologize, rape is no laughing matter
By Voltaire Tupaz
MANILA, Philippines – The progressive women's group Gabriela called out presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte for joking about rape in a viral video.
"Sexual abuse is not a joke nor something to be trivialized in a joke, especially by one running for public office, and the highest post in the land no less. Duterte should apologize for making fun of rape," Gabriela vice chairperson Gert Ranjo Libang told Rappler on Sunday, April 17.
"Rape is a serious crime not just against women but against humanity," Ranjo stressed.
In the video, posted on Saturday, April 16, Duterte is seen speaking about an Australian missionary who was raped in Davao City.
"All the women were raped so during the first assault, because they retreated, the bodies they used as a cover, one of them was the corpse of the Australian woman layminister. Tsk, this is a problem. When the bodies were brought out, they were wrapped. I looked at her face, son of a bitch, she looks like a beautiful American actress. Son of a bitch, what a waste. What came to mind was, they raped her, they lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that's one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste."
Women took to social media to lambast the mayor for his comment, noting that trivializing the crime perpetuates the "rape culture".
"This is by far the best, clearerest example and understanding of what is meant by the phrase 'rape culture'... Watch and listen. Sexual assault, rape, and violence are trivialized, made into jokes, it becomes the 'norm' straight from this 'mayor'," feminist artist Nikki Luna said in a Facebook post.
"Perhaps he was saying to the rapist, how dare (you) rape her? Hindi mo man lang ako pinauna (I should have been first). Owing to his self-admission as a womanizer. Yes, it was a bad joke and I apologize for not presenting myself as his writer of jokes. But a persons sense of humor should not be made an issue when there should be other things more important things to discuss," lawyer Bruce Rivera said in a Facebook post.
But for Gabriela, rape is among the important women's issues that Duterte should take seriously.
"We challenge him to use his campaign to promote issues that will elevate the condition of women and their families."
The incident Duterte referred to in the video seemed to be the 1989 hostage-taking by Felipe Pugoy, an inmate of the Davao City Police Office. Pugoy had taken hostage of missionaries who had visited the DCPO to preach, including an Australian woman named Jacqueline Hammil.
Duterte said he ordered the shooting of the hostage-takers.
Groups file complaint vs Duterte for violating Magna Carta of Women
By Patricia Lourdes Viray
MANILA, Philippines — Several women's groups on Wednesday filed a complaint against Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for allegedly violating the Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710).
The presidential aspirant recently drew flak over his remarks about an Australian lay minister rape victim.
"As a public official, an incumbent Mayor of Davao City, and now seeking to win the highest position of the land, Mr. Duterte is expected to be an exemplar of a respectable, law-abiding citizen. Instead, he arrogantly flaunts his power over these women and diminishes their worth as human beings," the complaint read.
Among the complainants were representatives of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Asia Pacific, the World March of Women - Pilipinas, Purple Action for Indigenous Women's Rights, WomanHealth Philippines, Kasarian-Kalayaan, and Sagip-Ilog Pilipinas.
The groups asked CHR Chairman Jose Luis Martin Gascon to investigate if Duterte has violated the rights sanctioned by the Magna Carta of Women through his controversial rape remark.
On Tuesday, several women's groups released a statement condemning the remarks of Duterte despite his apology.
"Mayor Duterte, it is not okay to disrespect women. Even if they disagree with you. It is not okay to violate a woman's dignity," the statement read.
The camp of Duterte had issued an apology over his "rape joke" and said that the presidential aspirant had no intention of disrespecting women or rape victims.
Meanwhile, Commission on Elections Commissioner Rowena Guanzon is set to propose a reform on election rules to emphasize gender sensitivity and gender equality.
Duterte charged at CHR
by Iza Iglesias / William B. Depasupil
Several women’s groups filed a complaint against Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday for violating Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.
The Women Against Duterte movement, composed of a coalition of women’s rights advocates, environmental and worker’s groups led by Ana Maria Nemenzo of Woman Health Philippines, Jean Enriquez of World March of Women, Judy Pasimio of Katutubong Lilak and Josua Mata of Sentro filed the complaint.
According to the groups, Duterte’s disrespect of women during his speeches have been well-documented.
They cited an uproar caused by the mayor’s statements about the rape and killing of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill.
“To make the rape of a woman who was later killed a laughing matter, and to treat women as playthings to be taken advantaged of constitute an affront to us and all women,” the groups said.
“As a public official, an incumbent mayor of Davao City, and now seeking to win the highest position of the land, Mr. Duterte is expected to be an exemplar of a respectable, law-abiding citizen. Instead, he arrogantly flaunts his power over these women and diminishes their worth as human beings,” they added.
CHR Chairman Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon personally received the complaint.
The commission, he said, will ask Duterte to reply to the complaint.
The groups noted that they are not supporting any particular candidate but they just wanted to point out that Duterte’s statements encourage a culture of rape and disrespect of women.
The CHR also expressed grave concern over the mayor’s trivialization of rape in his statements.
Officials of the commission said it is their role to investigate and make Duterte accountable for his statements.
“As monitor of the State’s compliance with Cedaw, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, it is the commission’s role to monitor how the State and State actors perform the obligation of condemning discrimination against women in all its forms and in pursuing all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women,” the CHR said in a statement.
“At the onset, and prior to the formal consideration of the case as filed, the commission reiterates its previous issuances on the trivialization of rape. It reiterates that rape and accounts of rape should never be trivialized and dismissed. Rape is one of the gravest forms of violence against women; it is an act of violence and aggression that is gender- specific in character which hurts, humiliates, subjugates and degrades women. Trivializing rape and considering accounts of rape as ‘mere jests’ contribute to rape culture and to the perpetration of violence against women,” it added.
The commission said it is the state’s obligation under Cedaw and the Magna Carta of Women to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and to observe “due diligence” in respecting, protecting and fulfilling women’s human rights to non-discrimination and to the enjoyment of equality.
“Candidates, most especially those seeking the highest office in the land, are reminded to be cautious in making statements that wittingly or unwittingly undermine the rights of women,” the CHR added.
An official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) also joined the widespread condemnation of Duterte.
Commissioner Rowena Guanzon also on Wednesday said Duterte’s pun about the rape and murder of Hamill was inappropriate and inhuman.
“And Rodrigo Duterte, a presidential candidate, makes a disgusting ‘joke’ about it, talking about rape and murder victim Jacqueline Hamill, an Austrialian missionary, who was taken hostage in Davao City prison, as if she was not a human being,” Guanzon pointed out.
The commissioner said as chairman of the Comelec’s Gender and Development Committee, she will propose a Code of Conduct for candidates and will push for reforms in election rules to emphasize gender sensitivity and gender equality.
Joma Sison eyes ceasefire, return to Philippines if Duterte wins
By Thea Alberto-Masakayan
MANILA – Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison sees the possibility of a ceasefire between communist rebels and the government if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte wins the presidency.
Sison, who has been in exile in The Netherlands since 1987, said returning home is also an option under a Duterte administration.
This comes after the New People’s Army (NPA) handed over five policemen to Duterte on Tuesday, nine days after the cops were abducted.
As chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Sison said he talked to Duterte on Tuesday to thank him for helping in the negotiations for the release of the cops and to discuss plans for peace talks.
“We talked about the need to resume the peace negotiations and release the political prisoners unjustly imprisoned by the Arroyo and Aquino charged in violation of the Hernandez political offense doctrine and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees,” Sison told ABS-CBN News in an online interview.
“We have good vibes because he was my student in Political Thought at the Lyceum of the Philippines,” Sison added, recalling his ties with Duterte before martial law was declared in 1972.
Sison claimed Duterte promised to set a meeting “if he wins.”
“The mayor said that if he wins, we would meet as soon as possible abroad and then in the Philippines,” said Sison.
He said they also agreed that a ceasefire can happen even while “comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms are being worked out.”
“I will come home as soon as there is a sure basis for the ceasefire and the resumption of peace talks. I might even come home for a visit as early as June to witness the oath-taking of Duterte, if he wins or if he is not cheated,” said Sison.
Sison’s homecoming plans also include attending the launch of TIBAK, a new film about his stint as Kabataang Makabayan (KM) leader. He said Duterte was once a member of the KM.
KM was a radical student movement set up in 1964. Its leaders, including Sison, would later establish the CPP and the NPA. Many KM members went underground after martial law was declared in 1972, and it is still an underground revolutionary organization until today.
Endorsement for Duterte
Sison clarified that he has not endorsed Duterte, “because the NDFP is not supposed to interfere in the elections of the ruling system.”
He, however, heaped praises on the Davao mayor.
“He is the most open to coalition government of national unity, peace and development,” said Sison.
The communist leader also cited Duterte’s good ties with the rebel movement.
“I can see the track record and good qualities of Duterte. He has been very cooperative with the revolutionary movement in ways beneficial to the people,” said Sison.
Sison said he has not communicated with other presidential candidates this month but has met various emissaries since August 2015, “within the same parameters of peace negotiations that I have talked to Duterte.”
Gabriela urges Duterte team to help stop bullying after criticism of rape joke
MANILA, Philippines -- The women’s group Gabriela has sought the help of the campaign team of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to end a cyber campaign against the organization that followed its criticism of the presidential candidate’s joke about the rape of an Australian missionary who died during a hostage crisis in 1989.
The bashing of Gabriela, one of, if not the, largest and most prominent women’s advocacy organizations in the country, came after Duterte dismissed the group’s demand for him to apologize for joking about the multiple rape suffered by Jacqueline Hammill before she was killed during the hostage crisis at a Davao jail.
Video footage of part of Duterte’s April 12 speech during a rally at the Amoranto stadium, he recalled how he was angered on hearing of Hamill’s multiple rape and then quipped, “Pero napakaganda. Dapat, ang mayor muna ang mauna (But she really was beautiful. The mayor should have been first)."
The joke has earned the tough talking Duterte widespread criticism here and abroad, including from the Australian and American ambassadors, but has apparently done nothing to dampen his popularity.
In an open letter addressed to Duterte's campaign team, through his spokesman Peter Tiu Lavina, Gabriela vice chair Gert Ranjo-Libang said: “Numerous individuals and groups claiming to be Duterte supporters are waging a cyber campaign to discredit Gabriela and Gabriela Women’s Party. We are now subjected to cyber bullying by spreading malicious and incorrect facts about our organization.”
She also noted that the campaign appeared to be partly “orchestrated because the content and graphics are the same.”
Ranjo-Libang said the bashing has affected their ability to respond to the many requests for assistance from women seeking its help.
In particular, she said the inbox of Gabriela’s Facebook page, “which is meant to receive requests for help, is now flooded with spam messages. This keeps us from immediately responding to people who are expecting our support.”
“These actions of persons and groups who purport to support Mayor Duterte’s candidacy, deny victims who seek our urgent assistance,” she stressed.
The attacks on Gabriela appear to have spiked following the appearance of Valentina Berden, one of the elderly farmers who were arrested and charged over the violent April 1 dispersal of protesters in Kidapawan City, before the Senate committee on justice and human rights.
For example, the comments section of InterAksyon.com’s report on Berden’s testimony before the committee on April 20 included statements by people whose profile pictures showed them to be Duterte supporters asking why Gabriela, the Catholic church and the Commission on Human Rights, all of whom criticized the Davao mayor for the rape joke, appeared not to be helping Berden.
Gabriela was, in fact, among the many organizations that supported the Kidapawan protesters, who were demanding government relief from a devastating drought, and continue to support similar protests that have spread throughout Mindanao.
However, Gabriela’s appeal to Lavina is apparently not enough to appease a number of Duterte supporters who continued to bash the group in comments accompanying a copy of the open letter it posted on Facebook.
Gabriela, which counts more than 200 women’s organizations across the nation, was founded in 1984 as the General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action. In 2003, it launched the party-list Gabriela Women’s Party.
In Davao City, the group is known to have worked closely with Duterte in advocating for women’s rights and welfare. In fact, Gabriela Representative Luz Ilagan, who hails from Davao, is running for councilor under a pro-Duterte coalition.
However, this has not spared Ilagan from being attacked by Duterte supporters, which include calls not to vote for her.
Trillanes to Duterte: Who gave P197M on your b’day?
By People's Journal
SENATOR Antonio Trillanes IV yesterday insisted the people should know where the P197 million deposited in the BPI account of presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on his 69th birthday on March 28, 2014 came from.
“Who gave the P197 million?” asked Trillanes.
The senator said the amount was part of at least P211 million wealth of Duterte not declared in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN), which is a ground for his dismissal from government service.
In his 2014 SALN, Duterte declared a networth of P21,971,732.62 with assets of P22,971,732.62 and liability of P1 million, a personal loan from a certain Samuel Uy.
If his allegations were not true, Trillanes then dared Duterte to issue a waiver specifically to his BPI account at Julio Vargas Ave. in Pasig City.
The senator added that Duterte should not hide his wealth if it was legally obtained.
“Nagpapanggap siyang mahirap. Niloloko niya ang tao pero may daan-daang milyon siya sa bangko na nakapangalan sa kanya,” said Trillanes.
According to Trillanes, on his 69th birthday on March 28, 2014, eight cash deposits totalling P197 million were credited to Duterte’s bank account in the BPI Julia Vargas branch through interbank transfers.
The eight deposits consisted of P55,131,747.32; P41,721,035.62; P16,852,832.94; P16,852,782.94; and four P20-million transactions.
Trillanes said he obtained the information from various sources.
As mayor, Duterte receives a monthly pay of P78,946 (Salary Grade 30).