Philippines presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte has refuted a report claiming he apologized for discussing the attractiveness of an Australian victim of gang rape, saying he will “never” apologize.
“Don’t force the issue because I will never really apologize,” he said according to CNN Philippines.
CNN also said he “mentioned something about apologizing ‘a long time ago,’ but added, he was definitely not apologizing at present.”
Media outlets reported that Duterte released this apology:
“I apologize to the Filipino people for my recent remarks in a rally. There was no intention of disrespecting our women and those who have been victims of this horrible crime,” Duterte said. “Sometimes, my mouth can get the better of me.”
But Duterte claims he does not know anything about the apology released by his political party PDP-Laban.
Duterte caused international outrage after a YouTube video showed him joking about a rape in 1989 in Davao City, where he is mayor.
The Philippine outlet Rappler quotes Duterte:
All the women were raped so during the first assault, because they retreated, the bodies they used as a cover, one of them was the corpse of the Australian woman layminister. Tsk, this is a problem. When the bodies were brought out, they were wrapped. I looked at her face, son of a bitch, she looks like a beautiful American actress. Son of a bitch, what a waste. What came to mind was, they raped her, they lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first. What a waste.
He spoke about the “rape and murder of an Australian missionary.” Duterte claims he made the comment in anger and will not apologize.
“If it brings me down, let it bring me down. If it brings me up to the presidency, then well and good. I will serve you but I will not as a matter of honor apologize for (it),” he said.
In 1989, 15 inmates captured at least 15 church workers for two days. The military confirmed that the inmates raped Jacqueline Hamill, 36, and slashed her throat. The inmates also took a “9-year-old boy and nine women from the Joyful Assemblies of God, a Protestant group, who were holding a Bible service in the prison.”
Rev. Fred Castillo escaped the situation. He told reporters and authorities that Hamill said, “she and other female hostages had been raped.”
Duterte has remained a controversial figure since he became mayor. Davao City once boasted the title of murder capital of the country. During his tenure, human rights groups said he allowed executions on those considered “petty criminals.” He has also “said crime should be punished with death.”