President Duterte has issued a foul-mouthed retort to Chelsea Clinton after she criticised him for his recent rape “joke”.
The remark came during a speech on Friday aimed at reassuring soldiers that he would take responsibility for any backlash to martial law, which he imposed last week on Mindanao island.
He said he would not tolerate abuses but joked that if any soldier were to rape three women, “I will admit it, that’s on me”.
Soon after the comment was reported, the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton was just one voice in a chorus of disapproval.
Writing on Twitter, she said: “Duterte is a murderous thug with no regard for human rights. It’s important to keep pointing that out (and) that rape is never a joke.”
In an earlier tweet, Chelsea Clinton shared a news report about the comment and captioned it with: “Not funny. Ever.”
Speaking at a Philippine Navy anniversary celebration in Davao today (Wednesday, May 31) the president hit back, saying: “These whores, they hear ‘rape’. Like, like Chelsea, she slammed me.
“I was not joking, I was being sarcastic. Listen to the speech. I do not laugh at my own jokes.
“I will tell her, when your father, the president of the United States, was screwing Lewinsky and the girls in the White House, how did you feel? Did you slam your father?”
Later in the speech, he repeated the statement, saying: “You Americans, Chelsea Clinton, be careful because you live in glass house. I repeat, when President Clinton was f—ing Lewinsky, what was your statement or your reaction?”
The president also accused American soldiers of raping the residents of countries they are stationed in. “It is a crime actually committed by soldiers mostly Americans in Okinawa in Japan.”
He then referred to the case of US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton was found guilty of killing transgender Filipino Jeffrey “Jennifer” Laude in October 2014.
“The American killed the transgender woman. He could’ve just kicked her out of the room. You didn’t have to kill the transgender,” he said.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella had earlier defended the president by saying he was just “speaking with heightened bravado” to drive home his point that he would be responsible for the consequences of martial law.
Last week’s remark about rape was not the first time such comments have got the president in hot water.
He also stirred outrage when he said he wanted to rape Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill who had been caught up in a 1989 prison riot in Davao and murdered by the inmates.
“There was this Australian lay minister,” he said in April last year. “When they took them out, I saw her face and I thought, ‘Son of a whore. What a pity. They raped her, they all lined up. I was mad she was raped but she was so beautiful. I thought, the mayor should have been first’.”
He later apologised and said he did not intend to disrespect women or rape victims.
However, when the Australian and American ambassadors to Manila voiced disapproval at the comments, he reacted furiously and insisted he had been taken out of context.