Duterte rape comment draws flak

UST profs see comment in different light

A viral footage of presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte’s “sickening” comment about an Australian lay missionary rape victim drew flak from the public and social media.

Different personalities and Duterte’s political rivals openly critized the tough-spoken Mayor. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said he already crossed the line.

Arnel Arevalo, the editor-in-chief of The Flame, the official publication of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, considered Duterte as the “country’s biggest disgrace in the history of Philippine politics.”

“I want to ask him: why such statement? Rape, by all means, should never be taken lightly. If he cannot even tame his own mouth, what makes people believe that he can tame criminals in 3-6 months?” said Arevalo.

Different perspectives

UST Department of History Chairman Dr. Augusto De Viana shed a different light on Duterte’s rape comment.

“We must look at it in a context, its historical point of view for example,” De Viana said.

De Viana said Duterte’s rape remark was not as evil as we thought it was. “What he did was a historical recounting, and there is nothing wrong with that. Para niyang sinabi na ‘ang ganda ganda nang ikinakasal, sana ako nalang yung groom.’”

“On historical recounting, nagiging masama ito [rape comment] kung hanggang ngayon pinagnanasahan paring ni Mayor Digong si Jaquelinne,” said De Viana.

In addition, he described the Filipinos as “over sensitive,” which causes our lack of context and understanding on the things that are happening in the Philippines.

De Viana also shared the possibility that the people who heard “mayor” misunderstood Duterte’s real point.

“Baka yung mga nakinig sa sinabi niya [Duterte], hindi alam na every prison ay may tinatawag na ‘prison mayor’, ang leader ng mga tao sa prisinto…They might have mistaken it because Mayor Digong was also the mayor of Davao back then,” said De Viana

Brand of Justice

On the other hand, De Viana explained Duterte’s claim to have given the Australian rape victim an “instant justice.”

“For Duterte, it is a man for a man. Kaya he wanted the family of the Jaquelinne to be grateful kasi nga patay na lahat ng gumawa ng masama sa kanya noon. Justice is served for the young woman,” said de Viana.

He clarified that the “brand of justice” our society and the Church acknowledges is based from the Australian and European “brand of justice.” He said this brand believes in reform, the ability of person to change despite the gravity of his case.

Duterte as president

Should Duterte win the presidency, Students Welfare and Development Board (SWDB) coordinator Anita Garcia said he should watch his words and actions.

“When we talk about governance, the one who rules must be a scholar gentleman. He must set [an] impeccable example,” added Garcia.

Garcia, who was also the former director of UST Office for Student Affairs believes he has a soft heart despite his “maangas” and “badass” image. She explains that Duterte is only afraid to reveal this because it might weaken his image.

Condemning Digong

Sylwyn Calizo, UST Economics Society President said the statement Duterte made was insensitive and unappropriated. “Mali talaga na gawin niyang kalokohan ang rape pero kung ibabase ko ang kakayahan niya dahil lang sa joke na iyon, hindi naman ata tama.”

Garcia said condemning Duterte for that single incident is unreasonable. She encouraged the people to be “better than their posts in their social media accounts.”

“There is no question about the man’s service. On his way of speaking, there is. He should change because the whole Philippines is not Davao and three to six months is different from 20 years,” she added.

Duterte recently apologized about his rape comment yet insists that he will not apologize for his manner of speaking.

He currently tops the latest presidential survey of Pulse Asia with 32%. K KRYSTAL GAYLE DIGAY

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