Because he was always drawing flak from rights groups for making misogynistic and sexist remarks, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night defended his right to joke about women, saying women had been depriving him of his right to freedom of expression.
In a speech to honor the outstanding women in law enforcement and national security, Duterte said women could not take away his right to free speech and expression.
“You know, you women are depriving me of my freedom of expression. You criticize every sentence or word I say. That is my freedom to express myself,” Duterte said in Malacañang.
“Even if I am just a President, do not take it. Do not take me away from the crowd of being a Filipino citizen.
“That’s why you bastards, just don’t. It’s the freedom of expression. That’s why I’m intentionally saying it like this because I’m trying to bring you to the limits of despair.”
The President’s remarks came after he warned women to stay away from Catholic priests as the priests could desire them.
“The women should refrain from going near the priest because when you are near him, he will just smell the scent of your body. And if he corners you in the church, you’re dead, he will court you. Do you know why? It’s because he is a man,” Duterte said in a speech last Friday.
In the same speech on Monday, Duterte poked fun at the women for objecting to his previous remarks.
“You rejects of priests complaining about me, that’s not my fault. Can you believe it, you were rejected by a priest?” he said.
Even before his presidency, Duterte had drawn flak for saying he should have the first one to take advantage of an Australian woman who was raped in Davao City in 1989.
Just last year, he was also heavily criticized for threatening to shoot female fighters in the genitals and attributing the high number of rape cases in Davao City because of its many beautiful women.
The Palace had previously maintained that the President respected women and did not put the standard of women way too low.