Duterte denies he is anti-woman, cites hostage incident in Davao

Published May 29, 2018, 11:21 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has rejected allegations that he was anti-woman, saying he actually once offered to become a hostage in exchange for a female captive.

The President urged the public not to believe accusations he was the enemy of women, following the launch of #BabaeAko social media campaign denouncing his alleged misogynistic behavior.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the presentation of firearms handed over by surrenderees from the Abu Sayyaf Group at the Capitol Site in Patikul, Sulu on March 26, 2018. (TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

“Hindi ako nagbabastos ha. Huwag kayong maniwala diyan sa mga ‘yang babae-babae na kalaban ko [I don’t mean to insult, okay. You should not believe these women who are my critics],” he said during the signing of the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018 in Malacañang last Monday.

“Hindi ako nagyayabang ha. Sabihin ng mga babae na anti-woman ako. Mag-hanap ka ng presidente sa Pilipinas nagpa-hostage para sa babae [I’m not being arrogant. Some women claimed I am anti-woman but find a President of the Philippines who offered to be a hostage for a woman],” he added, alluding to the hostage crisis launched by escaped prisoners in Davao City in 1989.

The President, however, asked to cut the live television feed of his speech in the Palace so he could freely talk about his sentiment.

“Sirahan mo ‘yang, ‘yang television mo. Para atakehin natin itong mga babae [Shut down the television camera so I can attack these women],” he said in jest.

The President recently said he believes in the competence of women but some jobs are inappropriate for them.

Duterte, already under fire for his sexist remarks, said women cannot stand threats and intimidation. He said men grew up with a mindset prone to violence while women are prim and proper.

Some women activities recently launched a movement against the President’s misogynistic remarks, saying they do not accept being insulted and belittled by the country’s leader.