Duterte’s ‘Shoot the vagina’ joke a sticky issue on International Women’s Day March 8

President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo by Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region – President Duterte’s joke to state troops to shoot women members of the New People’s Army into the vagina as to render the women fighters useless and immobilized has angered the women’s group, Lolas of Lila Pilipina.

Rechilda Extremadura, Executive Director of Lila Pilipina said that the statement reminds the lolas about the victims of violence of World War II were women were knifed with bayonets in their vaginas by soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army.

“Such atrocities, much like the military sexual slavery during World War II are tools of war that aimed to disempower women. It is outrageous that in this day and age, the President himself would be mouthing such barbaric violation to women,” Lila Filipina informed Bicol Today in Naga.

While the lolas cannot be present at the One Billion Rising event in Manila, their issue is always part of the dance protest. “The historical violence done against the comfort women must always be remembered in order for us to be always on our guard against such crime to happen to another generation,” Extremadura said.

Meanwhile, Gabriela announced as part of One Billion Rising Revolution events held on Valentine’s Day by activists calling for Solidarity to End Exploitation of Women, GABRIELA members in Manila dismembered the effigy of President Rodrigo Duterte, lopping off tongues fashioned from rubberized foam that represent his habitual sexist tirades against women, the latest of which called for his military to shoot the vaginas of rebels and dissidents in his counterinsurgency war.

“Women here and abroad are totally disgusted at this latest sick attack on women who oppose his policies. This only confirms he is a sexist and fascist dictator who does not deserve the respected position of a President. We recall how he kept making misogynist policy pronouncements about raping women to punish them for perceived offenses or offering them either as combat spoils for marauding soldiers or as an enticement for tourist visits,” GABRIELA secretary general Joms Salvador said.

The annual OBR protests are also playing out in many cities across the Philippines to hold Duterte accountable for the prolonged martial law in Mindanao, armed attacks on indigenous children, and the rapid fall of incomes and jobs after the government’s implementation of the unpopular tax reforms that sent prices of goods spiraling. Filipino migrant women danced in plazas across North America, Europe, and Asia, scoring the president for sabotaging peace talks with revolutionary groups, while also taking aim at US President Donald Trump’s similar sexist and warmongering governance style.

First launched in the Philippines in 2013, One Billion Rising has mobilized hundreds of schools, local governments, and civil society alliances in the broad movement to end violence and exploitation of women and children. With the theme #RiseResistUnite, GABRIELA elevated the calls to not only addressing VAW as a symptom but as one of the social ills engendered by neoliberal economic policies of global monopolies and their local tyrannical puppets.

GABRIELA said that the OBR event serves as a prequel to a much bigger people’s protest against Duterte’s macho fascist dictatorship to be led by women on March 8, International Working Women’s Day. [BicolToday.com]


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