National Women's Caucus condemns Duterte rape comments
The National Women's Caucus of the Green Party of the United States unreservedly condemns statements made by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte last week. After declaring martial law, Duterte told troops: “For this martial law, and the consequences of martial law, and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible ... Just do your work. I will handle the rest. I will be imprisoned for you. If you rape three (women), I will say that I did it.”
He later dismissed these remarks as "joking," but this is not the first time he has publicly "joked" about rape, even the gang rape of an Australian missionary who was subsequently murdered in a prison riot, saying he would have liked to "have been first in line." Nor was it merely talk when he looked the other way while his police force has murdered thousands of purported drug users and sellers, even claiming to have shot such persons himself.
It is time for accountability, for any rapists who fails to "get the joke," and for the jokester himself, for promoting and excusing, and normalizing, rape. We call for nations throughout the world, including our own, to officially shutter their embassies and consulates in the Philippines until Duterte retracts these guarantees of amnesty to those who attack and humiliate women, and accompanies such retraction with active prosecution of rapists. We call for them to remain open only for purposes of sheltering women from the rapists, or as a recovery center for victims. We call for them to provide asylum to any woman so threatened.
And we call on Duterte to step down, even as we have called upon so-called leaders in our own nation to withdraw from office, or be thrust from office, after condoning or participating in rape.