Our president is a pig. After everything—his misogynistic statements and actions—it’s not a question for me anymore. The big mystery here is why he still has supporters.
In a speech made to make a point against the Catholic Church, he basically admitted to molesting their house help in his youth. “I lifted the blanket… I tried to touch what was inside the panty,” he said. “I was touching. She woke up. So I left the room.” He said he came back, and tried to molest her a second time. He said he confessed all this to their school priest, whom he alleged touch him too—an accusation he has made before. “Totoo man. It’s true.” he insisted.
Unsurprisingly, his cronies readily flocked to his defense. Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, for instance, dismissed this tale as a likely “exaggeration,” even as he admitted, “Matagal na po ‘yan. Kampanya pa nasabi na yan PAULIT ULIT PA.” He additionally told GMA News Online, “If ever that happened, that was when he was a teenager probably at 13. He is now 73. Do we really want to waste time and print space and screen pixels on this?”
I seriously can’t fathom the stupidity of this statement. I think the fact that he has constantly repeated it is further proof that it is based on a factual incident. And to reason that it’s not relevant since it happened a long time ago? Oh sure, I bet they’d love for us to just ignore this. Sorry, not happening. Besides, the president didn’t even seem the least bit apologetic. None of them are. I mean, cue Malacañang’s denial of any truth to this with some pitiable excuse and zero remorse. “In his inimitable allegorical style of dramatizing the sexual abuse the President suffered when he was a minor, he has made up a laughable anecdote to dramatize the fact of sexual abuse that was inflicted on him and his fellow students when they were in high school,” Presidential spokesperson and chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo said in a statement. He even had the audacity to call out Gabriela, when the partylist pointed out that “Rape does not happen only through penile insertion,” but also when a finger or any object is inserted.
Panelo said, “It is unfortunate that in its zeal to promote its advocacy on the protection of women’s rights as well as in its obsession to put the President in a bad light, the women’s rights group has lost the ability of discerning a reality from a rebuke on the hypocrisy of the priests who molested him and his classmates when they were high school students.” Um, okay. So should we just assume that everything that comes out of Pres. Duterte’s mouth are lies now? (I think the way to go here is for Panelo to announce that once and for all—that would make things easier for all of us.)
To add insult to injury, Panelo asserted that the president “will not discard his shocking and amusing out-of-the-box utterances that have been his political signature.” Adding that “The president has evolved an unorthodox and mischievous method of exposing and criticising the hypocritical practices of those men in religious cloak.”
Okay, let’s be clear. We condemn the sexual abuse of those in power—even by those from the Church. What the president alleged was done to him by the priest was wrong. But does that make his action any less evil or excusable? F*ck no. And regardless if it’s just an “out-of-the-box utterance” or not, are we really okay for our president to say things like that?
The first time I read this news, I trembled in disgust. It was just too much. I thought, “What kind of country are we? When will enough finally be enough for his supporters to wake up and see that we’ve become a gross laughingstock of a nation?” The fact that these people in power are trying to play us for fools once again is infuriating. But the thing is, we are fools. At this rate, it’s easy to see why the President has become tackless. Because we constantly let him get away with it. If there was one thing Panelo said that was true, it was how Pres. Duterte’s “unorthodox” way of speaking “triggers laughter on his audience.” A sad, sad truth. I don’t think his “anecdote” was in any way “laughable“—but WE, as a country, are.
Honestly, I didn’t vote for him, but at the start of his reign, I was still hopeful he would give our nation the change it deserves. But that hope has long expired. The only redemption I see for us now is if Pres. Duterte would step down from his position. If he had any ounce of decency left, he would voluntarily resign.
Art by Marian Hukom
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