President Rodrigo Duterte
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, May 24, defended his recent remarks against women that drew flak from several rights groups.
In a speech in Davao City, the Chief Executive said he believes in the competence and capabilities of women but their excellence does not apply to all aspects of life.
The President mentioned this while he was asking female soldiers to leave Paquibato District in Davao due to the presence of the high presence of Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebels in the area.
Duterte also went on to explain why he preferred men over women on some government positions.
“Kaya ang mga babae kong sundalo pati pulis ayaw ko iyan sa bukid. You know kagaya ng — unlike men, kami, maliit pa lang suntukan, bakbakan, barilan diyan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence,” the President said.
(I don’t like female soldiers and police in the jungle. You know, unlike men, even as kids, we’re used to rough play, hitting each other. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset that is sometimes prone to violence.)
This month, pro women groups accused Duterte of discrimination after he said in public that the next ombudsman should not be a woman.
“Mag-nominate sila pero (They may nominate, but) I choose — Gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya (I want people to be impressed by that person’s integrity). Of course, it could not be [a politician]. Lalo na hindi babae (especially not a woman),” Duterte said in an interview in Malacañang on May 16.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) explained that based on the Magna Carta for Women, men and women should be given equal rights and opportunities, even in political aspect.
“The Magna Carta for Women says that in the bureaucracy government, there should be 50:50 gender balance incremented, increase in women being appointed to managerial positions,” said Emmerline Verzosa, the Executive Director of PCW.
But for law expert Atty. George Erwin Garcia, the emphasis on the issue should be placed on the qualification of the person appointed to a certain post.
“Sa bandang huli ang mas papasok diyan ay iyong diskresyon ng mag a-appoint whether ang piliin niya ay isang lalake o isang babae o kaya ay iyong tinatawag na 3rd sex. Wala tayong magagawa doon diskresyon yun lalong lalo na ng ating pangulo,” Garcia concluded.
(In the end it depends on the discretion of the one who will appoint: whether he will choose a man, woman or the so-called third sex. We cannot do anything about it, that is the discretion of the president.) – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue