MANILA – Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo defended President Rodrigo Duterte after the latter’s rape joke during the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduation on Sunday in Baguio City.
Panelo on Monday said Duterte’s rape joke should not be taken seriously as he aimed to lighten up the mood of his listeners during the rites.
“He made some mischievous remarks to make people laugh. People have been used to his jokes. Hence, his audience will always receive them with hearty laughter,” Panelo said.
During in his speech, Duterte threw a joke that the cadets were being pardoned for cases such as rape and drug use.
“The number one is for rape. Ang number two is drugs with rape with robbery. Para sa Muntinlupa ‘to. Pangatlo, multiple rape of the women of Baguio, the beautiful ones,” Duterte said.
“Well, anyway I’ll pass you this time because I need good and capable soldiers and I know that one or two is bound to happen. Pero patawarin ko kayo,” he added.
Duterte was not a stranger to “rape jokes” against women when he first gained notoriety in 2016, when he cracked the controversial “dapat mauna ang mayor” rape joke about a detained Australian missionary.
However, Panelo reiterated Duterte was not “anti-women” and has in fact appointed women to high government posts and establishments of a reproductive health and wellness centers in Davao City. /PN