Phillippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who is known for saying things that many would consider unsayable, last week told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in their genitals, according to a report in Washington Post.
Mr. Duterte made the remarks while addressing a group of former communist rebels on 7 February. His remarks were not widely reported as he was speaking in his native Visayan language.
“Tell the soldiers, ‘There’s a new order coming from the mayor,’ ” the president said in a speech, recalling a directive he said he had given when he was mayor of Davao City. “ ‘We will not kill you. We will just shoot you in the vagina.’ ”
“If there is no vagina, it would be useless,” he continued, appearing to imply that women are useless without their genitals,” according to local media reports.
The Presidential Communications Office included the comment in the official transcript from the event but replaced the word “vagina” with a dash.
It “is just the latest in a series of misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements he has made about women,” said Carlos H. Conde, the Philippines researcher for Human Rights Watch, according to New York Times. “It encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, which is a violation of international humanitarian law,” Mr. Conde said.
Representative Emmi de Jesus of the Gabriela Women’s Party said that Mr. Duterte had, in effect, given the green light for soldiers to violate women’s rights. “He has further presented himself as the epitome of misogyny and fascism terribly rolled into one,” she said.