Student activists criticized Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s remark on rape as a “manifestation of feudal culture” in the country.
In the viral video, the presidential aspirant joked about the Australian missionary who was raped and killed during the 1989 Davao hostage crisis saying “the mayor should have been first [to rape her].”
In a statement, Union of Journalists of the Philippines- UST Chapter Chairperson Tiffany Tolones stressed that Duerte’s comment shows the feudal culture in the country.
“It is feudal in a way that women are still viewed as objects and as assets. That men are still ‘more dominant’ than women.”
“What I hate about Duterte’s statement is that he actually validates that rape is normal… I hate that women (and men) will not report their cases because of fear, especially if Duterte will become the president,” Tolones added.
Uziel Guthrie Naguit, League of Filipino Students- UST Chapter Chairperson, said that “rape is violence and violence is not funny.”
“Duterte’s rape joke is a manifestation of the prevalence of semi-feudal culture of machismo that is responsible for making women vulnerable to violence, discrimination and sexual abuses,” Naguit said.
“Only candidates who are committed to genuinely advancing the well-being of women by being one with them in their struggle for emancipation deserve to be the next leaders of our country,” he added.
‘Culture of impunity’
For Naguit, the “culture of impunity” is the root cause of different cases of violence against women and hopes that the next president addresses this problem.
“Consciously pinopromote ang culture of rape and violence sa pamamagitan ng mga policies na isinusulong ng pamahalaan at kawalan ng malasakit ng mga nakaluklok,” he said. “Halimbawa na lamang ay ang isang judicial system na napakabagal sa pagtugon sa kaso ng mga kababaihang biktima ng karahasan.”
“Kung hindi matutugunan ang culture of impunity na laganap sa ating lipunan ay magpapatuloy ang karahasan sa mga kababaihan,” he added. V.A.F.