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Robredo: Rapists cause rape, not beautiful women

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By Xave Gregorio

Beautiful women are not at fault for rape cases, rapists are.

This is what Vice President Leni Robredo said in slamming President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest rape joke, where he attributed high rape cases in his hometown of Davao City to its women being beautiful.

Robredo did not find Duterte’s joke funny, saying that rape is caused by rapists, not by beautiful women.

“Mayroong rape kasi may rapist, hindi mayroong rape kasi may magandang babae,” Robredo to reporters Monday (September 3) in an interview.

She said Duterte’s remark needs to be protested as it is “not right.”

“Sineseryoso natin ‘yung isyu na ito. Hindi ito isang bagay na parang kibit-balikat lamang, hindi dapat pinaglalaruan ‘yung issue. Hindi dapat ginagawang biro,” Robredo said.

She also said freedom of speech cannot be used to defend Duterte’s statement, as it has limitations and should not be used to disrespect Filipinos.

In a speech in Mandaue City, Cebu on Thursday (August 30), Duterte said there would always be rape cases in a place where “there are many beautiful women.”

Amid criticism from women’s rights groups and some opposition politikos, Duterte invoked freedom of speech in defending his remark.

The Malacañang also previously shielded Duterte from criticism, saying that the public should not give “too much weight” on a “joke.”

According to data from the Philippine National Police, Davao City, recorded the most number of rape cases in the second quarter of 2018, with cops counting 42.

Duterte, who has been hit for misogynistic remarks, has previously made jokes about rape, including one during the campaign trail where he said he should have been the first to rape a “very beautiful” Australian missionary.