Vice President Leni Robredo responded to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s rape joke pertaining to the number of cases from his hometown Davao. “Rape is not a laughing matter,” said Leni—louder for the people in the back.
“Ako, hindi lang bilang babae pero bilang tao, kahit anuman na… kahit anuman na statement na kasalanan ng babae iyong rape, hindi iyon nakakatawa. Kailangang i-protesta natin. Alam natin na hindi iyon tama,” (As a person and not just a woman, any statement that says that rape is a woman’s fault is not funny. We have to protest against it. We all know it’s not right) she said during an press briefing.
Woman and victims everywhere have said this multiple times, but the VP couldn’t help but iterate. “Mayroong rape kasi may rapist, hindi may rape dahil may magandang babae. Sineseryoso natin itong isyu na ito. Hindi ito isang bagay na parang kibit-balikat lamang. Hindi dapat pinaglalaruan iyong isyu. Hindi dapat na ginagawang biro.” (There is rape because there is a rapist. It is not because the woman is beautiful. We should take this issue seriously, it’s not just something that we can easily dismiss. We should not play with this issue and it should not be a joke.)
The President made this comment while he was in Cebu. Inquirer also reported that the Palace defended the President saying that it was just a joke and should not be taken seriously.
And finally, VP Leni said, “Iyong freedom of speech, parating may limitasyon. Hindi dapat ginagamit ito para mambastos ng kahit sinuman. Hindi ito dapat ginagamit para i-disrespect iyong bawat Pilipino.” (Freedom of speech always has limitations. It should not be used to be rude or even use it to disrespect any Filipino.)
Well said, VP Leni. Let’s all hope he heard it right. And even if he does, let’s not stop calling out what is problematic.
Photo courtesy of Nino Jesus Orbeto for Inquirer
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