Robredo calls for protests against Duterte rape remark

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 3) — Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday called on the public to protest President Rodrigo Duterte's remark that Davao City has a number of rape cases because of its pretty women.

"Ako, hindi lang bilang babae pero bilang tao, kahit anuman na statement na kasalanan ng babae iyong rape, hindi iyon nakakatawa. Mayroong rape kasi may rapist, hindi may rape dahil may magandang babae," she said in a media briefing.

Robredo, who has also been a topic of Duterte's sex remarks, said Filipinos should not take the President's rape jokes lightly.

"Kailangang i-protesta natin. Alam natin na hindi iyon tama. Sineseryoso natin itong isyu na ito. Hindi ito isang bagay na parang kibit-balikat lamang. Hindi dapat pinaglalaruan iyong isyu. Hindi dapat na ginagawang biro," she said.

Duterte on August 31 said his hometown has logged many rape cases because it has a lot of pretty women. This has been met with criticisms.

On Sunday, Duterte commented on those who called him misogynistic. He also defended himself against criticisms.

"Hindi ko naman sabi ni-rape lahat 'yan. But you are almost mesmerized or tempted. That's how you control yourself. It is a democracy. Freedom of expression," he said in a speech before the Filipino community in Israel.

But Robredo fired back, saying freedom of speech has its limits.

"Hindi dapat ginagamit ito para mambastos ng kahit sinuman. Hindi ito dapat ginagamit para i-disrespect iyong bawat Pilipino," she said.

In November 2016, Duterte publicly joked about looking at Robredo's skirt and knees, even pointing it out to his men.

Related: Robredo: 'Tasteless remarks, inappropriate advances' have no place in society  

Duterte has previously sparked outrage for kissing a woman on the lips during his meeting with the Filipino community in South Korea in June. Critics have also called him out for his offensive remarks against women, including threatening to shoot women communist rebels in their vagina.

In 2016, the President cracked the controversial "Dapat mauna ang mayor" rape joke about a detained Australian missionary. He later apologized for the statement.