Binay: Duterte’s rape remark puts OFWs at risk

SARANGANI, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay warned that the controversial remarks of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on the rape-slay of an Australian lay missionary in 1989 will have implications on the safety of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in their host countries.

"Nagalit ang buong mundo sa kanyang paglapastangan sa alaala ni Ms [Jacqueline] Hamill, ang kanyang kawalan ng respeto sa kababaihan, at ang kanyang pabago-bagong pahayag na patunay na walang sinseridad ang paumanhin na inilabas ng kanyang kampo," said the Vice President in a statement on Wednesday, April 20.

(The whole world was angered by his violation of the memory of Ms Jacqueline Hamill, his lack of respect for women, and the flip-flopping statements sent by his camp which showed he is not sincere in his apology.) (READ: The story behind Rodrigo Duterte's 'apology')

Duterte has received flak for joking about the rape of Australian missionary Hamill during a sortie at the Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City on April 12.

A video of his speech was posted online on April 16, sparking public outrage. The story has been picked up by both the local and international media. 

Binay, former presidential adviser on OFW affairs, said Duterte's remarks might change the way Filipino migrant workers are viewed abroad.

"At ano na lang ang magiging tingin nila sa ating mga overseas Flipino workers sa kani-kanilang bansang pinagtatrabahuhan? Na ang ating kalalakihan ay walang respeto sa babae at ang ating kababaihan ay walang respeto sa sarili. Na ang kanilang kababaihan ay nanganganib na gahasain ng mga lalaking OFW at ang ating kababaihang OFW ay puwedeng gahasain," said Binay

(And what will they think of OFWs working in their country? That our men have no respect for women and that women have no respect for themselves. That their women are in danger of being raped by our male OFWs and that our female OFWs can be raped.)

Bad example?

Binay then reiterated his call for voters to stop a Duterte presidency.

"Ang bawat boto sa kanya ay pagpapahintulot na bugbugin ang kalalakihang OFW dahil sila’y panganib sa kababaihan ng mga host countries. Ang bawat boto sa kanya ay pahintulot na lapastanganin ang ating kababaihang OFW," said the Vice President.

(Every vote for him is permission to beat up our mal OFWs because they're a danger to the women of their host countries. Every vote for him is permission to abuse our female OFWs.)

"At walang aangal dahil sa tingin ng buong mundo, tanggap nating mga Pilipino ang mang-abuso at pang-aabuso (And no one will question this because in the eyes of the rest of the world, we Filipinos accept the acts of abusing and being abused)," he added.

Duterte remains the leader of the presidential race, once again grabbing top spot in the latest ABS-CBN poll done before his remarks on Hamill's rape.

The tough-talking Davao City mayor also reportedly enjoys the support of over 600,000 OFWs, who are helping campaign for him.

In the face of criticism, the camp of Duterte, a self-admitted womanizer, has repeatedly stressed that the mayor is known as a supporter of women’s rights, even funding projects to protect women. 

'Insincere' apology

Confusion arose days after Duterte’s video went viral: He initially refused to apologize, but two days later, his camp sent a statement to reporters saying the Davao City mayor is sorry for his remarks. 

Duterte then admitted that the apology statement just “passed through his hands,” exposing weak spots in his campaign team’s management. 

On Tuesday, Binay also issued a statement calling Duterte's apology as "insincere."

Bukod sa siya ay pumapatay ng mahihirap, wala rin siyang respeto sa kababaihan. Pati ang isang babaeng namatay ay gusto pa niyang gahasain. Hindi mabubura ng isang paumanhin – na halata namang hindi sinsero – ang katotohanan na sinabi niya ito hindi lang minsan kung hindi dalawang ulit pa,” said the Vice President.

(Apart from killing the poor, he does not have respect for women. He even wants to rape a dead woman. An apology – which is obviously insincere – cannot erase the fact that he said this not just once but twice.) 

A few hours after Binay’s camp issued the statement on Tuesday, the Vice President warned voters in Mindanao against voting for Duterte in a speech in General Santos City.

Binay, however, did not directly mention the name of his rival, who is the preferred candidate of 58% of Mindanaoans, based on the latest ABS-CBN poll.

While Binay won big in the region in 2010 elections, he only got 13% of voters’ approval in Mindanao in the same survey.

Apart from Binay, presidential bets Senator Grace Poe and Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II had condemned Duterte for joking about rape.  Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago told people to express their indignation against Duterte’s remarks by not voting for him on May 9. –

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.