Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte formally retracted his statements regarding the rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill during the 1989 Davao hostage crisis.
In his campaign sortie in Kalibo, Aklan, Duterte confirmed before the media his apology to those affected by his statements regarding rape.
Earlier this week, the mayor denied apologizing for his joke on the rape of the Australian missionary despite a statement of apology released by Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Duterte disowned the statement and denied any knowledge of it saying: “Don’t force the issue because I will never really apologize”.
To clarify the issue, the Inquirer reached out to the mayor’s executive assistant, Bong Go and the candidate’s national campaign head, Leoncio Evasco.
Go clarified the issue late Tuesday night, saying: “OK na. (He has) confirmed (it).” Apparently, while a local PDP-Laban official had talked to the mayor about the possible release of the apology statement, the official later failed to inform Duterte that the press release had in fact been issued that morning.
The mayor drew widespread condemnation for treating as a joke the rape of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill. “I was angry she was raped, yes that was one thing. But she was so beautiful, I think the mayor should have been first,” he said during a campaign rally last week.
Until recently, Duterte refused to apologize for his remarks, saying they were uttered in a burst of anger at the criminals.
In the video that went viral online, Duterte went into details on how he hates crimes and how he has been fighting against criminals in connection with what happened way back 1989 in Davao City. He observed that Hamill is beautiful.
“Putang ina, sayang,” Duterte said, the crowd bursted into laughter.
“Ang napasok sa isip ko, ni-rape nila, pinagpilahan nila lahat do’n. Nagalit ako kasi ni-rape? Oo. Isa rin ‘yun. Pero napakaganda. Dapat, ang mayor muna ang mauna,” he added and it drew louder laughter from the crowd.