HIGHLIGHT: "I apologize to the Filipino people for my recent remarks in a rally. There was no intention of disrespecting our women and those who have been victims of this horrible crime...Sometimes my mouth can get the better of me."
Duterte apologized today after getting public and even international backlash for his statements about rape in a rally on April 12.
He further added, "I know what it can do to the victims and their families. The anguish and pain they cause. The trauma that can't be erased... I have witnessed these myself numerous times. This is why I am angry. I am angry because horrendous things like this continue to happen to our women and children all over our land."
The controversy started when the Davao mayor said in his sortie in Quezon City, “Pero napakaganda, dapat ang mayor muna ang mauna. Sayang, (But she was [Jacqueline Hamill] so beautiful, I think the mayor should have been first. What a waste.)"
Yesterday, Duterte said he will not apologize because his remarks were made out of his rage against criminals, he only earlier said sorry for "gutter language." Amid the barrage of criticisms, there were views that said Duterte actually risked his life in the hostage of lay missionaries in 1989 in Davao City Penal Colony, when he was just starting as a mayor. He also confirmed this in an earlier interview.
Today he said, "I will do this even if I lose my life, my honor and even the presidency. My life is an open book. I am a man of many flaws and contradictions. But when it comes to securing the lives and future of our countrymen and women, you can trust me to do the right thing. I will fight for the people until my last breath."
In another breath, a former Lower House member said that the mayor has been cleared a long time ago on the mishaps in the hostage-taking saga.
Former representative Prospero Nograles told Philippine Star, “I was part of the panel. I wanted to find evidence against Mayor Digong but we could not find any. We looked into the massacre of the inmates led by a certain Pugoy. They all died,” he said.
“We found no evidence against him, nothing,” added Nograles.