TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Philippines' Duterte under fire for saying he 'touched' maid

  •  

    Agence France-Presse

Manila   /   Sun, December 30, 2018   /   03:42 pm
Philippines' Duterte under fire for saying he 'touched' maid Female protesters march on the streets of Manila on Independence Day to accept Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's challenge to resign if women protest regarding Duterte kissing a married Filipina in South Korea on June 12, 2018. At least 1,000 women took to the streets of Manila to voice their anger at the man they consider the nation's misogynist-in-chief: President Rodrigo Duterte. (AFP/Noel Celis)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte drew outrage Sunday after saying he "touched" his maid when he was a teenager, with women's rights groups accusing him of attempted rape and encouraging sexual abuse.

Duterte frequently sparks uproar with his comments on women, including rape jokes and boasting about adultery.

In his latest remarks, Duterte recounted a confession he had with a priest in high school, detailing how he had entered the room of his maid while she was sleeping. 

"I lifted the blanket... I tried to touch what was inside the panty," Duterte said in a speech late Saturday.

"I was touching. She woke up. So I left the room."

Duterte recounted telling the priest that he had then returned to the maid's room and again tried to molest her.

Women's rights political party Gabriela denounced Duterte's "repulsive" comments and called for him to resign, saying he had confessed to attempted rape.

"Rape does not happen only through penile insertion. If it is a finger or an object it is considered rape," said Joms Salvador, secretary general of Gabriela.

Duterte, 73, made the remarks as he blasted the Catholic Church over allegations of sexually abusing children.

The president, who brands the church the "most hypocritical institution" in the mainly Catholic nation, said Saturday that he and his classmates at school were molested during confession.

It was his latest tirade against bishops and priests who have been critical of his drug war which has left more than 5,000 people dead, according to official figures. 

Duterte and his aides often dismiss his controversial statements about women as a "joke" or insist they are taken out of context. 

Duterte provoked fury in 2016 when during an election campaign speech he said he had wanted to rape a "beautiful" Australian missionary who had been murdered in a Philippine prison riot.

Women's advocates said Duterte's latest comments endangered domestic workers. 

More than a million Filipinos work abroad as domestic workers, according to the labour ministry. 

"Flaunting abusive practices encourages the rape culture and in this case, sexual abuse of domestic workers," said Jean Enriquez, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific.

Duterte's spokesman had yet to respond to requests for comment.

NEWS PULSE