PRESIDENTIAL candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Monday taunted women’s groups, his opponents, and religious leaders outraged by his remarks about the 1989 rape and murder of an Australian missionary, and said he would not back out of the race because his campaign donors had already spent a lot.
“For the life of me, I can lose the elections today. I will not die if I don’t get elected president. However, I cannot just withdraw because many donors have started giving their contributions since my ratings started going up,” said Duterte, who has topped the latest opinion polls.
Expressing no remorse Monday, Duterte dared his critics—particularly the militant women’s group Gabriela—not to vote for him.
“Tell Gabriela, as a matter of principle, son of a bitch, you want me to remember to be courteous all the time? Do not control my mouth, Gabriela. This is my mouth. It is God-given. That’s gutter language because I grew up in a poor neighborhood. Ang bunganga ko bastos. Lumaki ako sa neighborhood na bastos, (My mouth is vulgar. I grew up in a vulgar neighborhood.)” Duterte said.
Continuing his tirade, Duterte said: “Gabriela, if it will make you happy if I lose because of this. Well, let me get ahead of you, Gabriela. Do not vote for me.”
Duterte took the same attitude when told that Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, had urged Catholics not to vote for him, Duterte said: “Correct. Do not vote for me.”
“If you obey CBCP, fine,” he added. “But understand my language.’’
Duterte said his language may be foul and offensive, but the bishops and the members of the Catholic Church should remember that he is not a thief.
He then told Catholics to carefully examine the call of their leaders.
“I am asking the Catholics to carefully examine this… What I am saying is, in spite... of my mouth, I will give you a clean government,” he said.
Asked to comment on the condemnation of his remarks by the Australian Embassy, Duterte said: “I don’t want anyone controlling me. I say what I say, and I have said it.”
In the video of a speech delivered April 12, Duterte told supporters he got angry at a group of inmates who had raped and killed Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill in 1989, not just because they committed the crime, but because the victim was so beautiful, “the mayor should have been first.”
On Sunday, Duterte refused to apologize for his remarks and went into a lengthy narration of the two-day hostage taking in a Davao prison in 1989.
He said his remarks on April 12 were not a joke, but a narration of the events of 1989.
In the video, Duterte said in Filipino to laughter from his supporters: “When the bodies were brought out, they were wrapped. I looked at her face, son of a bitch, she looked 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.
Duterte, who boasts of the extra-judicial killings of suspects by vigilantes during his time in Davao, was the preferred candidate in the run up to the May 9 election, according to the latest opinion survey on April 3.
In his account of the 1989 hostage crisis, Duterte said then President Corazon Aquino had ordered him to resolve the two-day standoff at the jail immediately and peacefully.
“Cory Aquino prevented me from killing them, but those sons-of-bitches beat me to it [raping the Australian missionary]. I’m the mayor and they beat me to it.”
In utter outrage, Duterte said, he emptied a magazine from his Uzi on the rapists and hostage takers.
“I fired the first shot. I took my Uzi and emptied the magazine. I said, wipe them out. Kill them all. Those sons of bitches, the Australian was so beautiful and they beat me to her,” Duterte said.
No one was spared, and all 16 hostage takers were killed, he added.
Duterte also said the rape joke that went viral was “no joke” because he was recounting what he had said in 1989 in anger.
Duterte urged the CBCP to ease up on its condemnation of him.
“I thought all the while I was doing my duties for humanity. And now they’re castigating me for my mouth?” he said.
He also said he does not care if his choice of language will cost him the election.
“If it is not acceptable to the cultured people, let it be,” he said. “If it means my defeat, so be it.”
He again explained the remark that sparked negative reactions.
“It was slang, a derogation. I was belittling their manhood. It was not a slur. It was street slang,” he said. “But it was not a joke about rape.”
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, president of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan which adopted Duterte as its standard bearer, urged the public to “move on,” saying that the mayor had already apologized for his remarks—even though the candidate had not done so.
“We stand unequivocally on the side of Mayor Duterte on this matter and wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who stood by him and continue to do so despite the most vicious and malevolent attacks against his character and integrity in both mainstream and social media,” Pimentel’s statement read.
“We reiterate: Mayor Duterte remains focused on the campaign and will continue to mobilize people’s support for his platform of Tunay na Pagbabago anchored on a 24/7 war against crime and corruption, inclusive growth through regional development and equality under the law.” With Rio N. Araja
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.