Philippine President Duterte Tells Soldiers They Can Rape Women

He made the "joke" after declaring martial law throughout the island of Mindanao earlier in the week

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. — REUTERS
May 27, 2017 at 6:25 PM ET

After declaring martial law in the southern Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday sought to reassure his soldiers that he has their back by joking that they could rape up to three women.

“The consequences of martial law and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible. Just do your jobs, I’ll take care of the rest,” Duterte said, according to CNN. After saying that he would personally imprison soldiers who commit human rights violations, he then joked, “If you rape three people, I will admit to that.”

On Tuesday, fighting between Filipino government troops and ISIS-linked militants in the city of Marawi, located in the southern island of Mindanao, prompted the president to declare martial law throughout the whole island.

Duterte, a leader who has earned the praise of President Donald Trump, is well-known for his crass remarks.

He has also in the past made other jokes about rape: when speaking about a prison riot in 1989 in Davao, in which an Australian missionary was repeatedly raped and killed, he said that he should have been first in line to rape the “beautiful” victim because he was mayor of the city at the time.

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