The Federation of Free Workers (FFW) has joined a rising clamor to reject presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in next month’s elections over his recent controversial remarks on the rape of an Australian missionary in 1989.
Jose Matula, FFW president, on Sunday said he is disappointed by what he described as Duterte’s anti-women statements.
He heads the oldest and one of the major general trade union federations in the Philippines (founded in 1950, with 200,000 members at present) that is acknowledged as an active participant in tripartite activities and other social dialogues in the national, regional and international levels.
Matula said the mayor might lose the women’s vote in the May 2016 elections since half of the Filipino voters are women.
He added that Duterte’s men must give him advice on how to show respect to women.
A Metro Manila-based women’s organization agreed with Matula and urged the electorate to junk Duterte’s bid for the presidency.
Donna Salazar, president of the Kababaihang Nakikibaka para sa Pambansang Dangal ng Pilipinas (KNPDP), also on Sunday said Duterte should not become the country’s 16th leader since it is extremely unacceptable to publicly harass women by stating that he being the mayor of Davao City should have been the first to rape Jacqueline Hamill.
Hamill was sexually assaulted and killed inside the Davao city prison during a riot by inmates.
Salazar noted that even after local human rights groups and pro-women advocates and the government of Australia had denounced Duterte for making a “joke” about the rape of the Australian evangelist, the mayor seemed to have continued deriding women.
She cited the proliferation of stickers in many parts of Metro Manila that state
“Mahal ko ang mga babae. Iibigin ko kayong lahat–Duterte [I love women. I will love you all–Duterte].”
Salazar said the message of the stickers shows the mayor’s condescension of women.
That message, she added, “only proves that he is a maniac.”
Helen Toledo, a teacher, also agreed with Salazar.
“Napakabastos naman ni Duterte. Tamang salita ba ‘yang mahal ko ang mga babae [Duterte is extremely impertinent in saying that to us. Is that a correct statement by someone who is running for President]?”
Toledo said she believes that many teachers will not vote for Duterte for President.
She added she was not surprised by the audacity of the mayor in gathering the nerve to make offensive statements against women and then convince not only the women but also the people to vote for him in the May 9 elections.