The firebrand Filipino president known for his outrageous remarks has struck again, this time by telling troops to shoot female rebels in their genitals.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the man who called former President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch” and later told him to “go to hell,” recently made a stunning remark in an address to former communist rebels, the Washington Post reported Monday.
“Tell the soldiers. ‘There’s a new order coming from the mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina,'” he said, further stating, “If there is no vagina, it would be useless.” Some critics have argued that Duterte’s latter comment reduces women to nothing more than their genitals.
Harry Roque, the president’s spokesman, said that people — women in particular — are “overreacting” to the president’s statement, countering, “I mean, that’s funny. Come on. Just laugh.” Duterte has a history of making sordid jokes about women, including rape.
Carlos Conde, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, called the president’s comments “the latest in a series of misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements he has made about women” in a statement, according to The Independent. “It encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, which is a violation of international humanitarian law.”
Duterte has been accused of violating international law on a number of occasions, with most cases tied to his brutal war on drugs, a bloody crackdown that has ended the lives of thousands of Filipinos. For alleged human rights abuses, the Philippine president has come under fire from the United Nations, Western democracies, human rights organizations, and even government officials in his home country. Legislative officials have made several attempts to impeach Duterte, but he maintains a solid grip on his government, as well as the army and police.
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