AUSTRALIA REACTS:

Rape should not be trivialized

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THE Australian Embassy in Manila on Monday stepped in on the burning issue sparked by a reckless remark by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte over a murdered Australian rape victim that now threatens to sear his presidential candidacy.

In a brief statement posted on her Twitter account, Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely said serious crimes like rape and murder are no laughing matter.

“Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialised. Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere,” she said.

Tough-talking Duterte, whose platform promises a ruthless war on crime and illegal drugs, came under heavy fire for his statements on the rape and killing of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill in 1989.


Hamill, then 36, was ministering at the Davao City Police Office when she was taken hostage, raped and killed by a gang inside the jail.

Duterte ordered the killing of the suspects.

But what got the goat of the public was the mayor’s statement after Hamill’s tragic end.

“What a pity. What came to my mind was, ‘They raped her, lined up for her.’ I was mad because she was raped? Yes. That’s one reason. But she was so beautiful. The mayor should have been first,” Duterte said in Tagalog.

‘No’ vote, no joke
Robin Haines Merrill, who was working as a missionary in Manila at the time of the incident, also took to Facebook to “publicly denounce the presidential candidacy of Duterte in the Philippines.”

“I realize ministering in jails as a woman is very risky and looks outright naive, like the ‘you got what was coming to you’ mentality that is prevalent today. But all ministry and everyday life is a big risk, and we must be obedient to the voice of the spirit of God, even if it leads us to death.

“Jacqueline’s death affected me deeply personally, as I had been visiting just about every jail in Manila with the ACTION/CGM teams from 1986-89. I couldn’t yet speak the language but I could play the flute and just show love to people in horrible situations,” she said.

Merrill urged Filipinos not to vote “for people who speak vile things against women.”
But Duterte denied that he made a joke of the incident.

“I was not smiling. I was just talking plain sense narrative.”

He, however, apologized for his “gutter language.”

“I am sorry in general. I am sorry for the Filipino people. It is my style. It is my mouth. I said that in the heat of anger. But listen to the story behind [it],” the mayor said.

‘Rating to take a hit’
Professor Ramon Casiple said Duterte’s ratings will take a hit.

“His problem is people now believe that Duterte thinks that way and it is difficult to accept such kind of thinking,” Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms in the Philippines, explained.

“No thinking person would elect a president who thinks like that,” the political analyst said.

Casiple added that it will be difficult for Duterte to recover because the issue erupted at a crucial stage of the campaign.

Not perfect
Lito Banayo, Duterte’s political strategist, came to the mayor’s defense, saying he is “not a perfect person.”

“It’s just how he is,” Banayo said in a radio interview.

Banayo, a former administrator of the National Food Authority, added that the incident is not likely to prompt Duterte to change himself.

“May pagka ipokrito na kung [He would be a hypocrite if] he would change himself at this stage, this late in the game,” he said

When asked if Duterte would apologize to women who were offended by his words, Banayo replied, “Hindi naman niya ininsulto ang bangkay [He did not insult the victim]. I understand the offended feelings, especially ng mga babae dito sa nangyaring ito [of the women because of this incident], but let’s put it in the context that this was in 1989. I am not making excuses but you tend to put it in the context of 1989 instead of 2016.”

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14 Comments

  1. Rafael Toledo on

    Imagine what could happen if Duterte gets elected and he meets with foreign leaders during a summit (either in the Philippines or other countries). The Philippines will be known for having a leader who does not respect the right of mankind and says what he wishes to tell anyone, without thinking of implications it can have. He will kill those people who he suspects to be criminal or drug peddlers/users, without going through the judicial process. Duterte was not joking related to the Australian incident, and electing him as the Philippines’ next President will be irresponsible. You cannot teach an old dog new tricks. He got away with murdering numerous people in Davao, whether guilty or not, and can kill lots of innocent people, once elected as President.

  2. “utter in anger” – may be a pnemonic words/phrase or words unintentionally expressed loudly by a person due to intense anger, fear or frustrations but nonsense…

  3. alexis agustin on

    Now, I know that we are at the peak of political campaign. I think we should see first the whole picture during Duterte’s campaign nung sinabi nyan yon. Kayo naman, comment kaagad kayo. I watched the whole video and it was a “rape joke.” Of course, it is a gutter language. Nagkataon lang na tumawa ang mga tao. But it was not his intention to crack a joke.

  4. Annak Ti Amianan on

    The statement was worse than the dirty dancing that made Tolentino leave LP. I hope netizens will not stop pounding on Duterte for this statement at least until he says sorry. The Filipinos do not deserve a president like him.

  5. I ask this to each and every Filipino: If you are the owner of a company and you are looking for someone to lead your company as CEO/President, are you in your good judgement be willing to hire Digong Duterte as your company’s CEO/President?

  6. Ogold Azures on

    Alam na ng karamihan kung ano ang nangyari noong 1989. Pero ang sinabi ng manyakis na mayor ngayong 2016 ay nagsasabi kung anong klase ang kanyang pagkatao. Na kahit napatay na at pinagpasapasahan ang isang misyonaryong Australiano ay nakuha pa niya itong pag tripan. Nanghinayang ito dahil hindi siya ang nauna. So kung nauna pala siya baka sakaling nagbago ang naging disisyon niya na i assault ang mga hostage taker. Anong klaseng mayor ito? Ito ba ang klase ng tao na iluluklok natin sa Malacanang? Kung magsalita ay para isang sanganon na sa pakiramadam niya an nasa kalye at ang kausap ay mga walang pinag aralan. Sa ganitong klaseng presidente, wala ng Santo Papa na dadalaw sa Pinas. Baka ni isang pinuno ng ibang nation ay hindi na rin pumarito dahil sa level niya ay pang kanto, pang sanggano, pang rapist at para lamang sa mga barumbado.

    • jessie corrales on

      ok lang yan, wag mo nang problemahin. Ikaw naman masyado kang apektado. Siguro kulelat ang manok mo, at hindi pinaguusapan. Hehe.

  7. All these analysts are just plain duterte haters. This incident was history and that the mayor already swiftly applied justice to those involved in said crime. Whether the joke was in bad taste, we know for a fact that it is not the way how duterte do things. No amount of mudslinging could surpass the achievements he had done as a gov’t. official ..not with these line-up of corrupt political opponents…..we still want duterte to run the gov’t as our next president…

    • jessie corrales on

      nag pa hostage ba naman kapalit ung bata at tyahin. Ang tindi nun, pwede syang napatay dun, pero hindi nya inindak yun. Mas mahalaga ung bata. Baket hindi ito ang pinaguusapan ng mga duwag na kritiko ? bagkos mas gusto nila ung pananalita nya . Iba na talaga pag #1.

    • Tanong ko lang sayo sana sagutin mo lang YES or NO tama ba ginawa niya?kung sayo kaya mangyari na may anak ka na ni rape na at pinatay pa at piliut mong ibinabaon sa limot dahil napakasakit tapos may kapit bahay kang kapitan na tumatakbo at sinabi niya ang ganitong biro noong nangangampanya siya ano ang mararamdaman mo? matutuwa ka ba sagutin mo sana ng yes or no dahil kakalat uli sa lugar ninyo ang balitang ito na ang anak mo ay ginahasa at pinatay pala .Sa totoo lang di naman lahat makakaalam sana nito pero dahil sa di wastong pag gamit ng dila na di narerendahan the damage is already done.PLEASE sagutin mo po sana tanong ko pls lang po I need your answer yes or no lang po PEACE TO ALL

  8. this is what i have been saying to friends… its like an amateur singing contest or a basketball game… any game for that matter- boxing, chess, car racing… you make a mistake, commit an error, its a demerit, you loss points… worse, you could lose the game… same thing in a political campaign…

    • jessie corrales on

      but the big difference here is, the game will not be lost, it will be won, big. You miscalculated.

  9. The remark was a blessing in disguise for Filipino voters, people now realize what kind of person behind that flamboyant mayor..They said morality is not an issue but it is the very core of human existence if not we are all like animals…

    • jessie corrales on

      korny reply, no one cares about being an animal ekek. All that matters is the Duterte will sweep this elections like a wildfire, nothing can get in his way. #1 is #1.