Tuesday| May 30, 2017
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Sunday condemned President Rodrigo Duterte's rape joke as he assured troops of his protection during the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.
"It is in this context that the Commission on Human Rights condemns the President’s recent remarks before the military troops in Iligan City assuring his protection over soldiers who may commit rape during martial law in Mindanao," the CHR aid in a statement.
The CHR echoed comments that "rape is never a joke."
"Women—especially those poor and vulnerable who bear the brunt of the ongoing violence on the ground—are not objects of ridicule either," it said.
Karapatan-affiliated women's group Tanggol Bayi has also condemned the latest rape joke of Duterte. It cited alleged "countless incidents of rape" by the military during martial law declared by the late President Ferdinand Marcos and 12 rape cases, also allegedly committed by military men, during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III.
It reiterated that rape is a heinous crime and should "never be a laughing matter."
Duterte, during the campaign season, was also hit for a remark he made about the tragic fate of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill, who was raped and murdered during a hostage-taking in Davao City 1989.
At a rally in April 2016, Duterte said, "Dapat mayor muna ang nauna."
Several senators and another women's group, Gabriela, also scored Duterte's latest rape joke.
The CHR said it will continue monitoring the government's implementation of martial law in Mindanao and the operations in Marawi City, which was attacked by members of local terror group Maute last week.
"We urge the government and our security forces—the police and military alike—to remain faithful to their roles as defenders of human rights and the dignity of all, regardless of the circumstance," it said.
WATCH VIDEO BELOW: