MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday defended anew his controversial remarks about women which some groups find to be misogynistic or sexist.
In a speech in Malacañang during the awarding ceremony for outstanding women in the law enforcement field, Duterte said even though he is the President, one cannot take away from him his right to freedom of expression.
“You know you women you are deprived me of my freedom of expression. Hindi ko sinasabi sa inyo ‘yan. But you criticize every sentence or word I say. But that is my freedom to express myself. Even if I am just a President, do not take it --- do not take me away from the crowd of being a Filipino citizen,” Duterte said.
“Kaya kayong mga g*** kayo huwag kayong mag ano. It’s the freedom of expression. Kaya sinasadya ko ‘yang ganituhin kasi I’m trying to bring you to the limits of despair,” he said.
Duterte has drawn flak many times for his comments about women.
As a presidential candidate, he was heavily criticized for saying he should have the first dibs on an Australian woman raped in Davao City 1989.
The President, who remains popular, however, seemed unfazed by the outrage his words could trigger. He drew the ire of critics for threatening to shoot female fighters in the genitals, and for saying that Davao City has the highest number of rape cases in the country because it has many beautiful women.
Most recently, in a statement that also earned the ire of women’s rights groups, Duterte told women to to stay away from priests “because when you are near him, he will just smell the scent of your body. And if he corners you in the church, patay ka, he will court you. Do you know why? It’s because he is a man.”