MANILA - Rape is caused by rapists and not because there are beautiful women in the country, Vice President Leni Robredo said Monday in reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte's rape joke.
The Vice President said it is wrong to blame beautiful women for the high number of rape cases in Davao City.
"Kailangan iprotesta natin. Alam natin na hindi 'yun tama. Merong rape kasi merong rapists. Hindi merong rape dahil merong magagandang babae," she told reporters.
(We need to protest this rape joke. We all know it wasn't right. There is rape because there are rapists, not because there are beautiful women.)
Duterte's most recent rape joke was about the high number of rape cases in his hometown Davao City. He said: "As long as there are many beautiful women, there will be more rape cases."
Various groups have criticized Duterte's rape joke but the President, in a speech in Israel said it was part of his freedom of expression.
Asked for her reaction on Duterte's defense, the Vice President emphasized that freedom of expression is not absolute and it always has limitations.
"Hindi dapat ito ginagamit para mambastos ng kahit sino man. Hindi ito ginagamit para i-disrespect ang bawat Filipino," she said. (Freedom of expression should not be used to disrespect anyone.)