Philip­pines Pres­i­dent Jokes about Sex As­sault dur­ing Speech

The Star (St. Lucia) - - HEALTH - ---Fox News

Philip­pines Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, who has earned a rep­u­ta­tion for in­cen­di­ary rhetoric, drew wide­spread con­dem­na­tion on Satur­day af­ter say­ing that he sex­u­ally abused his house­maid when he was a teenager— de­spite his of­fice later claim­ing it was a joke, The New York Times re­ported. Duterte,

73, re­counted the sup­posed in­ci­dent dur­ing a speech to lo­cal of­fi­cials, say­ing he first con­fessed the act to a Catholic priest.

Duterte said he en­tered his house­maid’s bed­room, “lifted the blan­ket,” and “tried to touch what was in­side the panties” but left the room af­ter she woke up. The episode was in­cluded in Duterte’s speech which was largely de­voted to crit­i­ciz­ing the Catholic church for its own sex­ual abuses. But Duterte’s com­ments were con­demned as “symp­to­matic” of Philip­pine’s “en­trenched sex­ism and pa­tri­ar­chal cul­ture.”

“The Ma­niac in Mala­canang has proved that he had no qualms vi­o­lat­ing the rights of women,” Joms Sal­vador, the sec­re­tary gen­eral of Gabriela, a women’s rights group, told The Times.

Duterte spokesman Sal­vador Panelo merely wrote off the pres­i­dent’s com­ments as a “laugh­able anec­dote to dra­ma­tize.”

Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte ges­tures while speak­ing dur­ing a late-night news con­fer­ence at the pres­i­den­tial palace in Manila, Philip­pines.

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