Duterte defends track record on women's rights

David Dizon, ABS-CBN News

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday defended his track record on women's rights after getting flak over a controversial statement on the rape-slay of an Australian missionary in 1989. 

During the "Pares-Pares portion of the third and last PiliPinas debate, Senator Grace Poe asked Duterte about the rape remark as well as his statement in a previous interview when he said women are the weaker sex. 

In response, Duterte said Davao City is the only city in the Philippines with a women's code. 

He said he disbanded the vice squad in Davao City because the unit was always rounding up sex workers. Only the city health office can order the arrest of sex workers with the help of the police, he said. 

Duterte said he also disallowed the wearing of bikinis and swimsuits in the Mutya ng Davao and Kadayawan Queen beauty pageants in Davao. Candidates in beauty pageants in Davao only wear shorts and beach wear. 

"Ipinagbawal namin swimsuit. Walang naka bikini bikini diyan. Bawal ang pulis manghuli at ang mga babae dun hindi natatakot. Kung saan saan sila namasyal," he said. 

For her part, Poe wondered if setting up a women's desk justifies Duterte's remarks. She also expressed concern about Duterte touching women who are naturally attracted to him. 

"Parang hindi naman po maganda iyon," she said. 

Duterte, however, replied: "That is what I am. You are you. I am I. So yun ang identity ko dito sa mundong ito." 


Duterte reiterated that he was not joking when he was talking about the rape-slay of an Australian missionary during his first term as Davao City mayor. 

Duterte has come under fire for his remarks over the gang rape and killing of 36-year-old Jaqueline Hamill, a missionary from Sydney, Australia. Hamill was one of several "prayer warriors" taken hostage by Federico Pugoy and other inmates inside Davao Metrodiscom in 1989. 

In a campaign rally on April 12 in Quezon City, the tough-talking mayor described the missionary as very beautiful and likened her to an American actress. 

"T***a, sayang. Ang napasok sa isip ko, ni-rape nila. Pinagpilahan nila. Nagalit ako kasi ni-rape. Oo, isa rin yun. Napakaganda. Dapat ang mayor muna ang mauna," he said, drawing laughter from his supporters. 

WATCH: Duterte jokes about raped Australian woman

Duterte said there was "no malice" about his remarks since he was very angry with the killing. 

"Pinatay ko lahat ng 16 [hostage-takers]. Nagmura ako. Then I narrated it in a different situation, it is all true. There was no malice. It is just a narration," he said. 

He then gestured to someone, saying "one of these guys kumukuha nung original tape sa galit ko."

"Binibili nga kanina ng 1 million. Inunahan ko na. Kasi kung lumabas yan ngayon, at this hour, very late day, I would have a hard time coping with it," he said. 

Poe said she will take Duterte's word and gave a word of advice to the tough-talking mayor. 

"Should you become President, perhaps women will appreciate more respect, even a little restraint," she told Duterte.