Dispatch from Crame No. 94 (Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on President Duterte’s latest rape joke)


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My fellow Filipinos, why do we allow him to get away with so much?

He brags about all the people he killed and had killed. He goes on television and tells cops to commit more killings. He curses at and disrespects people and institutions just because they ask him to respect the law and deliver justice, and not respond to every problem with even more heinous criminal acts. He promises to defend our sovereignty, but willingly surrenders more and more of our rights, territories and even the future of our children to foreign powers.

Now, he jokes about allowing soldiers to get away with raping women. The more, the better. In the middle of a crisis that he himself has characterized as being of such gravity that it necessitated the declaration of Martial Law over the whole of Mindanao, he insults women, soldiers and our entire nation with a sick “joke” that once again draws back the curtain and allows us to see the beast that lurks behind.

I am dismayed. I am furious. I am at a loss. My fury is impotent because there is one question I have no answer to: Why do my fellow Filipinos allow him to get away with so much? We who are a nation proud of our culture of dignity, civility and respect for one another—why are we now so willing to allow this sick mind to continue infecting our nation, including the minds of our children, with its perversity.

Kailan pa pumapayag ang mga Pilipino sa ganitong klase ng pambabastos at pambababoy sa ating kapwa tao?

And our brave men and women of the armed forces— why allow them to be painted like beasts, instead of the selfless, courageous and honorable public servants that they are? Who says they want a pass for committing sexual assaults and other animal-like behavior? The commander-in-chief is obviously not a gentleman, but why allow them to be brought down to his level by his words?

People choose to be passive, perhaps because they feel responsible for voting for him—but no. You are not responsible for what he does after you vote for him. You are, however, responsible for letting him get away with things like this with your silence. By electing him, he has not bought your souls and conscience—on the contrary, he now owes you his accountability.

Speak up. Do not allow this to continue. This is not right. Say so. For the sake of all that we hold as sacred and deserving of respect, do not be passive in the face of monstrosity.

Otherwise, in the end, we might find that his sickness has become ours and our children’s. ###

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