MANILA (UPDATED) - Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio on Friday said the government's action on addressing the issue of rape in the city should not be lost on critics of her father.
This after President Rodrigo Duterte drew ire for saying in jest that Davao City has the highest number of rape cases in the country because it has many beautiful women.
The younger Duterte, in an updated statement late Friday night, said the number of rape incidents in the city decreased by 20.83 percent to 95 during the first half of 2018 from 120 cases during the same period in 2017.
An initial statement from the city mayor's office earlier said police recorded 89 rape cases from January to June 2018, compared to 132 cases during the same period last year.
"This positive effect of government action should not be lost in the repertoire of the President and the attacks by those who hate his guts and humor. I can truthfully say that there were actions and positive effects," she said.
"And I pose this question to all who seemingly want to see Davao City fail—what have you done to help?"
The mayor attributed the decrease to government programs that teach children about sexuality and sexual abuse since most of the rape cases were committed inside homes.
"One of these interventions, and the most effective of which, targeted communities where children are taught about sexuality and sexual abuse, including when a touch by a family member is no longer appropriate and acceptable," she said.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the public should not “give too much weight on what the President says by way of [a] joke.”
Roque sought to downplay Duterte’s joke by claiming that the kind of humor of people in the Visayas, the President's audience at the time, is different from that of people in Luzon.
“From what I have seen myself, people in the south, particularly in Visayas, they don’t really take things as seriously as people in Luzon,” Roque said.
“They are not okay with rape jokes. But let’s just say the standard of what is offensive and not offensive is more liberal in the south.”