by Cody Cepeda
MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN Desk) -Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte came under fire after ordering soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in the vagina. The statement was made during a dinner in the company of 217 former communist rebels in Malacañang on February 7, where it prompted laughter from the audience.
President Duterte was found repeatedly mentioning the word “bisong” to his guests, which translates to “vagina” in Cebuano.
The comments were met with criticism from personalities and netizens who took to social media to air their grievances, with musician and activist Jim Paredes being one who refused to mince words.
He tweeted: “Walang modo. Walanghiya! Walang respeto sa kababaihan. Hoy! May nanay, asawa, kabit, anak kang babae!” (You have no shame. You have no respect for women. Hey, you have a mother, a wife, a mistress and a daughter — they are women!)
Paredes followed his tweet with another, wondering out loud what kind of people laugh over Duterte’s remarks. “What kind of people laugh when Duterte says that soldiers should shoot woman rebels in the vagina?” wrote Paredes. “How come no official, not even congresswoman and women senators has spoken against this crude remark?”
The New York Times correspondent and human rights activist Carlos Conde meanwhile said President Duterte is out-trumping Trump, whereas editor and writer Joel Pablo Salud commented that the President “has little respect for women and absolutely no respect for the military.”
Netizens were quick to respond to Maglana, with one Maita Arreola saying that President Duterte’s pro-women claims are fake.
Another commenter, Sharifa Ali-Dans, expressed that it is tragic to hear such statements coming from a leader, but finds the audience’s response even more tragic.
Award-winning writer and professor Jhoanna Cruz on her part pointed out that there was nothing out of character with what President Duterte did, while also saying that the statement might be mistaken again for “Bisaya humor.” One Rufa Cagoco-Guiam responded to Cruz, telling her that there was nothing “Bisaya” about what President Duterte did.