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Duterte explains Davao joke: You’re ‘almost tempted’ to rape because of pretty women

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (September 3) justified the rape joke he made about his hometown, Davao City, by saying it constitutes freedom of expression.

Facing the Filipino community in Jerusalem upon arriving in Israel for a four-day official visit, Duterte said he never said the women in Davao are raped because they are beautiful.

He said the beauty of women in his bailiwick makes a man “almost mesmerized or tempted” to take advantage.

“Sabihin na naman nila misogynist ako, woman ano. Kaya itong mga ano magsabi ka lang may– maraming rape sa Davao. Sabi ko, ‘Eh siguro maraming maganda sa Davao.’ Hindi ko naman sinabi ni-rape lahat ‘yan. But you are almost mesmerized or tempted,” he explained.

“That’s how you control yourself. It is a democracy. Freedom of expression,” Duterte added.

In an August 30 speech, Duterte said Davao has the highest number of rape cases in the country because “there are many beautiful women” there.

Data from the Philippine National Police showed there were 42 rape cases recorded in Davao City for the second quarter of 2018.

Duterte’s remark drew flak from women’s rights groups, with Gabriela party-list calling it a “flamboyany display of misogyny.”