Robin Haines Merrill, an Australian missionary who was in Manila the same time as murdered Australian rape victim Jacqueline Hamill, has spoken out against presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.
“On behalf of my sister in Christ Jacqueline Hamill, I publicly denounce the presidential candidacy of Duterte, in the Philippines,” she posted in all caps on her Facebook account.
Hamill was ministering in a prison in Davao in 1989 when she was taken hostage, raped and killed during a riot by inmates.
At a campaign rally in Quezon City last week, Duterte was caught on video telling a big crowd, “They raped all of the women…There was this Australian lay minister… when they took them out… I saw her face and I thought, ‘Son of a bitch. what a pity… they raped her, they all lined up. I was mad she was raped but she was so beautiful. I thought, the mayor should have been first.”
“Duterte was recorded this week saying…he wished he could have raped her first, since she was so beautiful,” explained Merrill.
Responding to outrage over his inappropriate remark, Duterte reasoned in Filipino that when he made that statement, “I was angry and just used gutter language.”
Meanwhile, Amanda Gorely, Australia’s ambassador to the Philippines, has also broken her silence on the matter. In a Twitter message broadcast on Apr 18, she wrote: “Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialised. Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere.”