Duterte says misogynistic remarks were his right, part of freedom of expression

President Rodrigo Duterte delivering a speech at an event in Malacañang Palace. Photo: Screenshot from Radio Television Malacañang’s video.
President Rodrigo Duterte delivering a speech at an event in Malacañang Palace. Photo: Screenshot from Radio Television Malacañang’s video.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is infamous for his misogynistic remarks, and yesterday he defended them by saying they were all part of his right to express himself.

Duterte said this during a speech in Malacañang Palace in Manila, at the awarding ceremony for the Outstanding Women in Law Enforcement and National Security of the Philippines of all places.

He said that when he was younger, his friends dated women who studied in top universities, while he dated women who worked in nightclubs.

“It’s better because there’s no problem,” he said in a mix of Filipino and English as the audience chuckled. “And I’m early. We don’t watch movies. We go straight [to the motel].”

Duterte then said that he knows that it was the kind of statement that makes feminists angry.

“That makes the women angry. Son of a b*tch. You women you deprive me of my freedom of expression. I haven’t said this but you criticize every word [that] I say. But that is my freedom to express myself,” he said.

Duterte said this freedom even applies to him as president. “Even if I’m just the president do not take me away from the crowd of being a Filipino citizen,” he said.

“You idiots. It’s freedom of expression. I’m doing this on purpose because I’m trying to bring you to the limits of despair,” he said.

Duterte has made numerous misogynistic comments in the past, such as when he suggested last year that soldiers should shoot female rebels in the vagina and that there were many rape cases in his hometown of Davao because there were many beautiful women living there.

Last week, he said that women should stay away from priests because they might court them, a remark that was slammed by feminist group Gabriela. They said Duterte’s remark was meant to drive a wedge between women and the Catholic Church “who are now finding common ground to make his regime accountable for its crimes against the people.”

In his speech yesterday, Duterte also defended his statement that priests chase after women. He said: “It’s true, it’s happening everywhere. Even the Pope, he admitted that priests are consuming nuns.”

Last month, Pope Francis admitted that there were priests and even bishops who have sexually abused nuns in several countries.

In the same speech, Duterte insisted that despite all the anti-women remarks he made in the past, he actually loved women.

“That doesn’t mean that I want to touch them. I just like women. Not because [when I say that] I like women I want to despoil or dishonor [them]. They (critics) don’t get it. They don’t get what I mean.”

Weird way to show your love, sir.

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