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Umayos ka! Hontiveros to Duterte: Stop blaming women for rape

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By Xave Gregorio

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros told President Rodrigo Duterte that he should stop blaming women for rape, following his “joke” attributing Davao City’s high number of rape cases to its women being beautiful.

“President Duterte should stop blaming women and how we look and dress for the growing number of rape cases. Beauty doesn’t cause rape, rapists do. Rape is the fault of the rapist,” Hontiveros said Saturday (September 1) in a statement.

“Rape is not a measure of beauty. It is not an act of admiration. It is the vilest form of violence against women. I ask President Rodrigo Duterte: is this how men admire women?” she said.

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.”

Malacañang defended this, saying that the public should not give “too much weight” on a “joke.”

But Hontiveros found Duterte’s rape jokes “disturbing.”

“To those who defend it by calling it a joke, and by telling us not to give it too much weight, I can assure you that no rape victim or survivor, no woman – since every woman is at risk in this rape culture – ever finds it funny,” she said.

According to data from the Philippine National Police, Duterte’s hometown, Davao City, had 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.