MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Following the viral video which showed presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte joking about a murdered Australian rape victim, stars and personalities took to social media to add to the discussion in light of the upcoming elections.
Duterte, a survey frontrunner, enjoys a strong following, including support from many celebrities like Liza Diño-Seguerra and Aiza Seguerra, Robin Padilla, and Richard Poon. His supporters and critics have weighed in on the issue.
On Facebook on April 17, Richard Poon shared the video of Duterte's viral video, saying, "When you follow a leader, it does not mean we justify his mistakes, this is so wrong. It has to be called out."
Richard makes it clear, though, that he still supports Duterte, sharing posts that say that people should listen to Duterte's entire speech and not just the part with the rape joke. He also shared posts about Duterte apologizing for his "gutter language" and Duterte's work with regard to women's rights in Davao.
Gab Valenciano, a multimedia artist and the son of Gary Valenciano and Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano, took to Facebook to express his opinion over the matter.
He wrote: "And now the world knows. I've learned my lesson about speaking my mind on certain issues, especially political ones. But this seriously has to be addressed. And also, this country needs to freaking wake up."
"One thing I don't understand about this guy (amongst a multitude of other things) are his followers, and how much compromise goes into consideration when supporting him. Nothing against the man on a personal level, I have never met him. Davao is beautiful. Kudos. Respect. But he's running for President. The highest and most powerful rank in office of any country. You think Manny Pacquiao has power and influence? Try being President."
He also talked about Duterte supporters and about threats that came his way after he previously aired his opinions on the candidate.
"All I hear are excuses from his supporters who crave change, yet are willing to give up parts of their soul to acquire that change. Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. Every misstep is countered by an essay of how he will make the Philippines great again. You point out the corruption of Binay, inability and insincerity of Poe, and laugh and share memes of Roxas, yet glorify this man. Obviously, all our current candidates are not perfect. But do not go out of your way to bash the others and deem yours most eligible and deserving."
"You choose to disregard the bad and embrace what you want to hear. I wrote about him a couple of months back and his supporters wished DEATH on me and my family. Wished RAPE on my loved ones. And cursed everything I am. I was even invited to Davao so all these things could be done to me and my family. And they would laugh and videotape it all. The messages were in the thousands on all platforms. Unreal. But this is the reality," Gab said.
Gab also said that a leader's actions should be good examples for the people.
"And I refuse to be represented by someone who disregards the basic requirements of being a great leader, or person at that. What is it to release a public statement encouraging your followers to act accordingly? To act appropriately? Is that too much to ask?"
He added: "Think deep. And think hard. We are better than this. I am already expecting a plethora of crass messages and comments from his keyboard warrior supporters who A) May not even be registered and B) May not vote even if registered. Yes. I know the numbers. So bring it on. Your presence here will reinforce this rant. Prove me right by attempting to prove me wrong in the only way you know how."
Film and theater actress Monique Wilson spoke about Duterte's remarks in a Facebook post, saying that Duterte's support for the women's groups in Davao and his remarks on rape reminded her of her father, Johnny Wilson.
Johnny was Makati City vice mayor during the martial law era under former president Ferdinand Marcos.
"You see Mayor Duterte, you remind me of my father. Who fought for the poor and the marginalized, and despite being a Marcos man always told his children we should always be proud he never stole from the government - which is, he reminded us, why we did not live in Forbes Park like the Marcos cronies. He was of the people. For them. He served them," wrote Monique.
"I witnessed this truth my entire growing up life," continued Monique. "But at home he called my mother names and put her down. He was mean to her. He womanized. He called women every derogatory name much like how you do. His male macho privilege permeated our home, our family - and his devaluing of women created fear, insecurity, anger, instability, duplicity, double standards. My first sense of injustice came from him. And for many years I could not see past all the good he had done as a public official, all the policies and programs he created in Makati for the women and the poorest communities as Vice Mayor for years, because all I could see and feel was my mother’s hurt. All I could see was how his constant misogynistic macho sexist diminishing of her affected her life, affected ours."
Monique shared that it took her years to realize that she shouldn't be protecting her father by not speaking about what he did.
She then went on to explain rape and rape culture to the mayor, and how he perpetuated rape culture through his actions: "Rape culture is denying the weight and seriousness of the crime by joking about it. It doesn’t matter that you tell us later on what the context of the story was - all that matters is that you made light of it. And allowed your followers at the rally to laugh along - diminishing the gravity of the rape. Words are important Mayor. You cannot throw them out playfully and casually and not look at the consequences of what your words do."
Before sharing the story of Lola Narcisa, a Philippine comfort woman during World War II, Monique said: "Davao Rises so gloriously and fiercely for its women now because of the belief you have also put into the women’s movement there. This is not an attack. It is a request for you to look deeper into your heart that we all know beats more authentically than most leaders for the people and their best interests. You cannot speak on revolution and rights, if you do not give equal weight to this issue. The issue of rape and rape culture. Revolution after all, first begins with the radical shift in consciousness of deeply entrenched mindsets. Patriarchal mindsets. No change can happen without this. And no transformation can happen without the humility to acknowledge where one has done wrong."
He wrote: "I will never vote for your candidate because he is dangerous and will surely lead our country down a dark path. He appeals to many because he is perceived as macho and relentless against crime. He has even made it believable that he can eradicate crime and poverty in 3 to 6 months and yet cannot give a concrete program to show exactly how he is going to fulfill his promise."
"Sure, Davao has improved. But what it is now is an accomplishment that is not his alone. And what about his appalling human rights record? He goes after petty criminals and small-time syndicates because perhaps he believes that they are the dregs of society and won't be missed. A life, however, is a life, even if he or she is considered a disgrace to society. If we become judge, jury and executioner and encourage others to be the same way through example, then what kind of country will we have?" he said.
He continued: "A leader who condones violence will encourage the citizens to embrace violence, too. That is why even at this early stage, the followers have resorted to threatening critics with rape and murder just because they don't share the same view. Are we supposed to just accept that, and be swayed by your candidate who styles himself as "cool" and "astig" even if he is more style than substance? And not to mention his disrespect for women."
See the rest of his post here:
Leah Navarro, a supporter of Mar Roxas and the Liberal Party meanwhile said: "Duterte reaps international condemnation as news of his rape joke spreads. He deserves it because #RapeIsNotAJoke."
Duterte reaps international condemnation as news of his rape joke spreads. He deserves it because #RapeIsNotAJoke — Leah Navarro (@leahnavarro) April 18, 2016
Chito Miranda, who has previously voiced support for Duterte, tweeted that he was not happy about what Duterte said. In his tweets which have since been deleted, Chito said: "One should never joke about rape. I was deeply offended and disappointed. I really hope he cleans up his act, for the sake of the country."
Chito also pointed out that Ramon Bautista's previous "hipon" joke, deemed offensive due to its derogatory nature about women's looks, was not taken lightly by Duterte himself.
I decided to simplify life and delete my tweets. Basta gusto ko maging maayos at safe ang Pilipinas kahit sino pa man ang manalo. Ok? Good. — Alfonso Miranda Jr (@chitomirandajr) April 17, 2016
In the end, Chito shared the video on Twitter, saying it's up to the people to judge for themselves.
I made the mistake of jumping to a conclusion based on the little that i saw. Feel free to believe what you want. https://t.co/4DmbOjCwTH — Alfonso Miranda Jr (@chitomirandajr) April 18, 2016
More on the video
Netizens expressed their anger over the weekend when a video of Duterte went viral, where he joked about a Australian woman raped in 1989 during a hostage crisis. In the one-minute clip, he said:
"Ni-rape nila lahat ng mga babae so 'yung unang asolte, kasi nagretreat sila, naiwan yung ginawa nilang cover, ang isa doon yung layminister na Australyana. Tsk, problema na ito. Pag labas, edi binalot. Tiningnan ko yung mukha, 'tangina parang artista sa America na maganda. Putangina, sayang ito. Ang nagpasok sa isip ko, nirape nila, pinagpilahan nila doon. Nagalit ako kasi nirape, oo isa rin 'yun . Pero napakaganda, dapat ang mayor muna ang mauna. Sayang."
(All the women were raped so during the first assault, because they retreated, the bodies they used as a cover, one of them was the corpse of the Australian woman layminister. Tsk, this is a problem. When the bodies were brought out, they were wrapped. I looked at her face, son of a bitch, she looks like a beautiful American actress. Son of a bitch, what a waste. What came to mind was, they raped her, they lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that's one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste.)
Duterte was referring to the 1989 hostage-taking by Felipe Pugoy, an inmate of the Davao City Police Office. Pugoy had taken hostage of missionaries who had visited the DCPO to preach.
Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialised. Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere. — Amanda Gorely (@AusAmbPH) April 18, 2016