DAVAO CITY: Comedian Ramon Bautista has been declared persona non grata by members of the Davao City Council on Tuesday following his controversial “hipon” joke at a rave party during the Kadayawan Festival here.
Officials have taken offense at the joke which was deemed as derogatory and misogynistic.
The resolution which Ramon Bautista was found to have violated is the city’s Women Development Code after he made a joke about women in the as “hipon” or shrimp, a street lingo used to label those who have good bodies but unappealing faces.
The celebrity was invited to appear in a party in Davao, which was celebrating its Kadayawan Festival. On stage, he said most women in Davao are “hipon”. He even goaded the crowd to follow his “hipon chant”.
The controversy was stirred when former Mayor Sara Duterte cried foul over the celebrity’s comment.
On Tuesday, addressing Bautista, she said “if I do not tell you what is wrong, then who will?”
“I have two small children growing up in a society where abuse, parental neglect, corruption, injustice and senseless killings are as common as candies on the store shelf,” she said. “Do you have to teach children how to sneer at women who have faces that are not as desirable as their bodies?”
Duterte gave Bautista an unsolicited advise: “If in the future your daughter will not be blessed physically, don’t teach her to roll with the punches of bullying, teach her to stand up and fight, teach her respect”.
Duterte said Bautista should be reminded of his role as a celebrity.
“You are a comedian, but the great comedians that I know use their wit and do not toilet trash women. You have the power of influence, use it positively,” she said.
Bautista has since apologized for his joke.
“I am ashamed of what I did,” he said a few minutes after the controversial spiel. “I say my sincerest apologies and I hope you will forgive me.”
Officials said the celebrity “wilfully and arrogantly intended to propagate sexism and male chauvinism that promotes rude and disrespectful behavior against women”.
The officials also took offense over Bautista’s Instagram photo showing him and three young Filipinas. One of the hashtags used was #PasisikatinKitaFoundation, something that, according to them, insinuated that the young women in the picture are lusting for popularity.
“The Women Development Code of Davao defines Mr. Bautista’s actions under the forms of sexual harassment,” said the officials, adding the celebrity should be “mindful of decency and celebrity”.
“There is a need to let the world know and those that employ Mr. Bautista that he is an extremely corrupt influence to the youth and his abusive behavior should never be tolerated,” said the officials.