Philippines President Orders Soldiers To Shoot Female Rebels In Their 'Vagina'

Human Rights Watch's Carlos Conde said, "It encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, which is a violation of global humanitarian law".

Duterte, who served as a city mayor before becoming President, appeared to encourage Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to shoot at female rebels in the Asian country in their private parts.

"There's a new order coming from the mayor, 'We will not kill you".

"If there is no vagina, it would be useless", he continued, appearing to imply that women are useless without their genitals", according to local media reports.

His comments were met with laughter from the crowd and Duterte's spokesman, Harry Roque, last week accused women of "overreacting" to the president's "jokes".

"He is dangerously pushing the fascist armed forces of the Philippines to commit more bloody human rights violations and grave abuses of global humanitarian law", she said.

Duterte's declaration "is just the latest in a series of misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements he has made about women", Human Rights Watch said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera on Monday.

In the official government transcription of the speech the word "vagina" is replaced with a dash, but it says that his audience laughed when he made the comment.

Conde added that encouraging state forces to sexually assault women during a conflict violates "international humanitarian law". But the President said he did not mind being indicted and imprisoned by the International Criminal Court as long as it allows conjugal visits by more than one woman.

Duterte, who took over in 2006, has a history of controversial remarks, including calling Barack Obama "son of a wh*re".

Since taking office in 2016 Duterte has shrugged off outrageous comments, including telling a group of Indian and Filipino business leaders in New Delhi in January that he would like to attract visitors to the Philippines by offering "42 virgins".

"I was angry because she was raped. But she was so handsome, the mayor should have been first", he had said.

"You know, sometimes, these feminists are really a bit (over-reacting)".

Human rights groups have also condemned his violent crackdown on drugs, in which thousands of people have been killed. "I mean, that's amusing". Some of his defenders have said he's just being "funny".

Duterte has also mocked the International Criminal Court for beginning a preliminary investigation into whether the drugs killings amount to crimes against humanity.

  • Jon Douglas