By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte said he was inclined to tap men over women for certain government positions since some jobs sometimes involve risky situations.
The President, however, immediately rejected allegations that he was a misogynist, saying there were other jobs suited for women.
“Ayaw ko ng babae. Gusto ko lalaki kasi marami akong utos [I don’t like women. I prefer men because I have many orders]. Suddenly I will just tell you go to Marawi because nobody is supervising there. Mapagawa mo ba ‘yan sa babae? Ipasubo mo? [Can I ask that from a woman? Put her in harm’s way],” Duterte said during the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) summit in Davao City Friday night.
Duterte explained that he was just used to having men around but claimed he has appointed women in some posts including in the Department of Tourism (DOT).
He recently appointed his close friend Bernadette Romulo Puyat as tourism secretary replacing Wanda Teo who resigned a few weeks ago.
“Ako nasanay ako sa lalaki pero ‘yung mga position na hindi naman kailangan — tourism [I’m used to men. But there are other posts such as tourism suited for women],” Duterte said.
Last May, the President claimed that he believes in the competence of women but some jobs are not appropriate for them. Unlike men who are used to fights since their childhood, he said women were always prim and proper and could not handle threats and intimidation.
Apart from Puyat, the other women in the Duterte Cabinet are Education Secretary Leonor Briones, acting Social Welfare Secretary Virginia Orogo, and National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Maza.
Recently, the President appointed a number of women in top positions in the judiciary, most recently Davao del Norte judge Dorothy Montejo-Gonzaga as new Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice.
Malacañang earlier announced the appointments Emily Aliño Geluz as CA Associate Justice and Georgina Dumpit Hidalgo as Sandiganbayan Associate Justice.
In the same speech, the President defended himself from criticisms that he was a woman hater. The former Davao City mayor admitted that he was fond of women but would never deliberately disrespect them.
Duterte also recalled that he once offered to take the place of several female hostages during a hostage crisis in a Davao penal colony years ago. He said the hostages were freed in exchange of his detention.