Duterte defends rape remark as freedom of expression

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday defended his remark linking a woman's beauty to rape as part of freedom of expression.

"Hindi ko naman sinabi ni-rape lahat yan. But you are almost mesmerized or tempted kasi that's how you control yourself," the President said before the Filipino community in Israel where he is on an official visit.

"And this is democracy. Freedom of expression," he noted.

Duterte drew widespread criticisms for his remark last week when he said in jest that his hometown Davao City had a high number of rape cases because it had many beautiful women.

Opposition politicians, pro-women groups and other so-called pro-democracy advocates expressed disappointment with Duterte's remarks.

MalacaƱang defended Duterte, saying the President's statement should not be taken seriously.