TWELVE groups representing some 5 million female voters have urged the 54 million registered voters to junk Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban presidential candidate Rodrigo R. Duterte for allegedly insulting rape victims, sexually abusing women and debasing persons with disability.
At a news conference in Quezon City, representatives of the 12 groups took turns in condemning Duterte, who said in one of his sorties that he killed 16 prisoners at a Davao City jail in 1989 after they raped and killed Australian Protestant missionary Jacqueline Hamill, adding that, as then-officer in charge of Davao City, “he should have been first.”
These groups are part of 100 organizations with more than 100,000 members spread across the country who are now actively campaigning against Duterte.
The groups include women’s rights organizations that earlier filed a case against Duterte for violating the Magna Carta of Women, owing to his “insulting, tasteless and vulgar utterances against women.”
They also demanded that Duterte investigate the claim of her own daughter Sara that she, too, was raped.
For her part, former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, convenor of the Purple Ribbon for Reproductive Health Movement, said candidates should bare their positions on reproductive health (RH) and must “stop dancing around the issue.”
“Throughout this campaign, candidates have resorted to motherhood statements instead of laying down specific plants to promote women’s rights, particularly ensuring women’s sexual and reproductive health,” Cabral stressed.
Cabral added: “One candidate even made fun of rape, which is totally unacceptable and insensitive to rape victims and survivors.”
Originally intended to boost the implementation of the RH law, the briefing was thrown into a tizzy after journalists asked the women leaders to comment on Duterte’s statements on women.
Princess Nemenzo explained that Duerte “has no business warning women’s groups who filed a complaint against him for the tasteless crack on Hamill after the bloody carnage in Davao City. Death and rape are serious matters that should not be treated as some kind of comic relief for sick minds.”
Duterte has been quoted as telling the Commission on Human-Rights complainants to “go to hell,” dismissing their case as another “black propaganda,” but the women-leaders insisted that it was Duterte who created the problem.
The briefing, which was sponsored by the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development Inc. (PLCPD) was originally intended to reveal the concerns of various groups on the problems hobbling the implementation of the RH law.
“An overwhelming majority of Filipinos say family planning is important and that the government should fund family-planning services. Candidates should heed the people’s voice,” PLCPD Executive Director Romeo C. Dongeto said.
actually yang mga women group ang nagcrecreate ng divide at gumagawa ng discrimination.