Reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte’s rape joke about owning up the rape crimes of the Philippine military, TV5 news anchor Ed Lingao asked how this latest remark should be spun. Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, though, was able to defend Duterte’s rape comment by saying that it was the President’s way of “exaggeratedly describing crimes like taking a fourth wife” to support the troops.
Lingao said that the Filipino soldiers he knows would be insulted by Duterte’s kind of “assurances.”
“The troops I know would feel deeply insulted by remarks or “assurances” like these. They are professionals who take pride in their flag and in their profession. They fight so that others may live; they do not rape so that others may take the blame,” he said.
“The country I used to know would feel deeply insulted by words such as these. But then, change has come.”
He also noted how his fellow journalists might have reacted to Duterte’s recent joke.
“And some journalists and former journalists I know would have been so deeply infuriated. Some, mind you, not all, for a good number of them who have also been gleefully pounding on the evil mainstream media were not exactly the best examples of journalism during their time. Some of them would have been lucky to be called mediocre. But I am being kind.. But then, they may have other considerations,” Lingao said.
Then, he sarcastically asked, “So tell me please, for the benefit of the bobo and bayarang media, how do you want us to spin this for you?”
And this is Abella’s take on the President’s rape joke.
“First and foremost, the President has the whole nation’s safety and protection in mind. In Iligan, he gave his full support to the men and women in uniform, taking complete responsibility for their actions, even exaggeratedly describing crimes like taking a fourth wife. As Commander-in-Chief he would stand by his personnel and that no one will be abandoned, including the fallen,” Abella said in a statement.
He noted Duterte’s “heightened bravado” while speaking in front of the troops.
“PRRD is decisively acting, speaking with heightened bravado, that law and order would be brought back in these areas of rebellion in the soonest time possible and that normalcy would likewise be restored with minimal loss of lives,” he added.