As a response to a widely controversial rape remark made by a Philippine presidential candidate, an Australian television news anchor has told his audience not to go to the Philippines if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte wins the election.
In the television show Sky News Australia aired April 19, Paul Murray showed a clip of Duterte speaking at a campaign rally and making a remark about a 1989 Davao prison riot that killed 5 people, including an Australian lay missionary Jacqueline Hamill who was said to have been gang raped.
“That evil bast*rd!” exclaimed Murray after running the said video of Duterte. “If he (Duterte) becomes president, tear up your tickets and don't go to the Philippines.”
In the Youtube video, Duterte was heard saying: “P— ina, sayang. Ang napasok sa isip ko, ni-rape nila, pinagpilahan nila lahat doon.” (Motherf*cker, what a waste. I thought, they raped her, they lined up for her.)
“Nagalit ako kasi ni-rape? Oo. Isa rin ‘yun,” he added. “Pero napakaganda, dapat mayor muna ang nauna. Sayang.” (Did I get mad because they raped her? Yes. That’s one. But she’s beautiful, the mayor should have gone first. What a waste.)
It can also be heard from the video that the remark drew laughs and cheers from the people in the campaign rally.
To this, Murray reacted: “I don't know what's worse: him saying... or other people actually laughing along with it.”
“It's disgusting,” he added.
Duterte's remarks, which have been criticized by different sectors in the Philippines, also drew flak from the Australian and US ambassadors.
The Australian ambassador to the Philippines, Amanda Gorley, posted in her Twitter account that to trivialize rape is wrong.
“Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialized. Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere,” Gorley’s Twitter post read.
US Ambassador Philip Goldberg later agreed with the Australian ambassador saying in a television interview that “statements by anyone, anywhere that either degrade women or trivialize issues so serious as rape or murder are not ones that we condone.” However, he clarified that he does not intend to meddle with the political affairs of the Philippines.
The controversy has also been reported by other foreign news organizations such as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Singapore-based The Straits Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times.