MANILA, Philippines - The foul-mouthed Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sparked global outrage this week, after calling on his soldiers to shoot female rebels “in their genitals.”
Duterte made the shocking call on Wednesday at the Heroes Hall in the Malacañang Palace, during a meeting with over 200 former communist rebels who have surrendered.
The rebels the President addressed also included 48 women.
Duterte spoke about female fighters in his speech, saying that soldiers should “shoot their vaginas” because “without that, they are useless.”
He further criticized female fighters for abandoning their families to join the communist movement.
Later in the day, the President’s communications office even released an official transcript of his speech.
He said, “Tell the soldiers. ‘There’s a new order coming from mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vaginas so that’... If there are no vaginas, it would be useless.”
He also criticized female fighters for abandoning their families to join the communist movement.
His comments were immediately criticized globally, with several groups calling Duterte a “dangerous macho-fascist” and the “epitome of misogyny.”
Human rights groups slammed Duterte for encouraging violence against women, with Representative of the Gabriela Women’s Party in Manila, Emmi De Jesus saying the remarks only confirm that the Philippines President is “the most dangerous macho-fascist in the government right now.”
Jesus said, “He is dangerously pushing the fascist armed forces of the Philippines to commit more bloody human rights violations and grave abuses of international humanitarian law. He has further presented himself as the epitome of misogyny and fascism terribly rolled into one.”
Meanwhile, New York-based Human Rights Watch noted that it was not the first time that Duterte has made “misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements” about women.
The group said in a statement, “It encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, which is a violation of international humanitarian law.”
Carlos Conde, a representative of Human Rights Watch in the Philippines, said the remark “encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict which is a violation of international humanitarian law” and are the “latest in a series of misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements he has made against women.
Duterte, who had been the mayor of Davao before becoming president, told a group of Indian and Filipino business leaders in New Delhi last month that he would like to attract visitors to the Philippines by offering “42 virgins.”
Before that, in May last year, he told soldiers he would protect them against criminal charges even if they rape three women while implementing martial law in the southern region of Mindanao.
Previously, when he was campaigning for the presidency he joked about wanting to be first in line to rape a kidnapped Australian missionary because she was “beautiful.”
In July last year, he made rape jokes while talking about Miss Universe.