DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday apologized to Filipinos for his controversial rape comment, saying he did not mean to disrespect women.
In a statement, Duterte said he regretted his remark about an Australian woman who was raped and killed in a prison riot in 1989.
“I apologize to the Filipino people for my recent remarks in a rally. There was no intention of disrespecting our women and those who have been victims of this horrible crime. Sometimes my mouth can get the better of me,” he admitted.
The tough-talking mayor was criticized after his controversial remarks about the 1989 gang rape and murder of Australian missionary Jaqueline Hamill inside the Davao City Police Office.
The tough-talking mayor had initially refused to apologize for his remarks.
On Tuesday, Duterte said he will not apologize for “the things I’ve done to protect our people, especially the weak and defenseless, from crime.”
“I know what it can do to the victims and their families. The anguish and pain they cause. The trauma that can’t be erased. I have witnessed these myself numerous times,” he added.
Duterte vowed to protect children and women if elected President.
“If you will give me the chance to lead this country, I promise to all of you that I will protect our women, children and families from the horrors and disorder of crime. I will do this even if I lose my life, my honor and even the presidency, “ he said.