‘Wrong on so many levels’: Duterte’s ‘vagina’ remarks earn lashing

President Rodrigo Duterte addresses 217 New People’s Army surrenderers flown in from Eastern Mindanao during a dinner on Wednesday, 7 February 2018. PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Various groups lashed out at President Rodrigo Duterte over his recent remark that ordered soldiers to “shoot” female members of the New People’s Army (NPA) in their private part.

In a statement on Sunday, February 11, Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) said Duterte’s latest “nasty” remark openly encourages violence against women and “further confirms himself as the most dangerous macho-fascist in the government.”

“He has further presented himself as the epitome of misogyny and fascism terribly rolled in one,” said Gabriela Representative Emmi de Jesus.

De Jesus added that the President is pushing government troops to commit “more bloody human rights violations” and takes “state terrorism against women and the people to a whole new level.”

She insisted that the said statement “should never go uncontested” at a time when the military is intensifying its offensives and red-tagging in the country.

Inday Espina Varona, a veteran Filipino journalist, also cited that “the singling out of women as specific targets of violence and subjects of particular punishment is NOT a joke.”

“The order to shoot suspected women leaders in the vagina Is but the latest of assaults on women by Rodrigo Duterte. These persistent verbal attacks betray Duterte’s deep hostility AND fear,” Varona posted on her Twitter account.

President Duterte made the remark on Wednesday night, February 7, before the communist surrenderees who were invited to meet with him in Malañanang.

“Ingna sila. Tawga run ang mga sundalo. “Order bag-o ni mayor. Di lang daw mo patyon. Pusilon lang mo sa b****,” (Bring that. Tell the soldiers. “There’s a new order coming from mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your ******) Duterte said.

Mags Maglana, a women’s rights advocate, stressed that the President’s remark was “wrong on so many levels.”

“We have been reduced to our genitalia,” Maglana said in her Facebook post.

Meanwhile, De Jesus pointed out that “Duterte and his minions” are providing more reasons for women to rise against the macho-fascist leadership.

“They should expect more women to speak up and reject this style of macho-fascist leadership. We cannot just take these vile remarks sitting down,” she said.

On February 14, thousands of women all over the country are expected to join the annual One Billion Rising dance in support to the global movement against all forms of violence against women and children.

In 2014, the then Davao City Mayor graced the said event here where he emphasized women’s importance and role in the society.

Women now, he said, have asserted for their place in the workplace and in different roles once dominated by men.

In time of the commemoration of the International Women’s Day, women from various sectors on March 8 are also expected to gather to give Duterte a grand condemnation in a huge protest against his regime’s “tyrannical and anti-poor policies.” (davaotoday.com)