PRESIDENT-elect Rodrigo Duterte slammed the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for being “too naïve” and “too simplistic,” following its resolution against his rape joke, which, he said, was an exercise of his “freedom of expression.”
“They shouldn’t push for it,” Duterte said Thursday in a news conference in Davao City. “They’ll be humiliated.”
He was responding to the CHR resolution that claims he has violated the Magna Carta of Women when he commented about being supposedly the first to have violated an Australian woman missionary who got raped and killed by inmates in Davao in 1989.
“They’re just on round one,” Duterte said of the CHR. “They are wasting the money of the Filipino people. Tell them, ‘Shut up.’ ”
Duterte reiterated his explanation that the controversial remark that sounded like an offensive joke to many was actually just part of his retelling of the hostage-taking incident inside a Davao prison.
The rape of an Australian missionary by the hostage-takers supposedly prompted him to utter the statement out of anger.
He called the statement a form of “gutter language” that was meant to ridicule the manhood of the hostage-takers.
Duterte said he had retold the incident during a campaign sortie to preempt people who were “digging up tapes” of the time when he first made the remark.
So I tried to preempt them,” he stressed. “This son of a bitch—Commission on Human Rights—bit the bait. I want to kick them,” he said.
Duterte then called CHR Chairman Chito Gascon an “idiot.”
“That idiot is nitpicking,” Duterte said. “I said already in public how it happened. Then you keep on issuing a statement. Here I am, I’m about to enter the presidency. What do you want?”
While the CHR can comment on his statement, they are powerless to mete any serious punishment.
One of the agency’s “recommendations” was for the Civil Service Commission and the Department of the Interior and Local Governments to “consider taking appropriate measures” on Duterte’s alleged law violation.
The CHR, which had acted on the complaint of women’s groups against Duterte, found the latter’s words and actions to be “discriminatory of women.”
Gascon also noted that the commission’s constitutional duty is to protect human rights and to “call out persons when these rights are violated no matter what their position in society may be.” CATHERINE S. VALENTE