Pres. Duterte cracks rape jokes and the audience laugh.

President Duterte was in his elements again – spewing expletives, spreading lies, concocting fake news -when he was in Cebu Thursday last week for Mandaue city’s 49th Charter Day celebration.

And as usual, the audience lapped up everything : his cursing of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, his Leni Robredo bashing, his lack of respect for the Constitution, his preference for dictatorship and worse, his joke about rape.

Duterte seems to have an obsession about rape. He relishes relating incidents of rape to justify his sweeping, bloody war on drugs.

In Mandaue, he spoke of an incident in Tagum where he said atwo-year-old child was raped by three men.

Then he cursed the priests and justified again his obscene language: “Kamong mga pari t*** i** ninyo.Kaya nakakawala ng respeto. Why a President should so be blatant and very bestial in his language? Because you asked for it.”

Duterte’s constant boast is his having transformed Davao city into a model city for peace and order. During the election campaign debates in 2016, his running mate Alan Peter Cayetano even dared women to come to Davao and walk late at night to the wee hours of the morning. If they were raped he would withdraw from the race, he said.

It turns out, rape in Davao does not necessarily take place in the streets at night. The city council’s committee on health released national police statistics showing Davao as having the most number of rape cases, 42, in the second quarter of 2018.

The report said Davao police recorded 95 reports of rape in the year’s first half, down from 120 in the same period in 2017. Majority of the victims were children, with more than half of the perpetrators related to them.

Duterte has a warped explanation to that: “Ingon sila nga daghang rape ang Davao. Basta daghang gwapa, daghang rape gyud na. [laughter] Kinsa ba’y unang musugot sa una? Sugot ng babaye? Asa. “Ayaw lagi. ‘Di lagi. Ahhh.” (They said that Davao had many rape cases. For as long as there are many beautiful women, there are plenty of rape cases as well. Who agrees to do it on the first request anyway? Will the woman allow it? )

Duterte’s distorted thinking must have infected the audience because they laughed.

He continued: “Wa ma’y unang nisugot anang kuan. Kana, rape na. Maski gani mag-kuan lang sa sine, mag sige pa’g ana’g kamot. “Ayaw lagi, ayaw.” Ka daghang gwapa. Ah makatabi ka ana’g pangag, kinsa ma’y ganahan?(Nobody agrees to do it on the first try. That is rape. Even when they’re inside the cinema, she will push him away. “No, don’t.” There are so many beautiful women. But if you happen to sit beside someone toothless, would you still want to do that?)

The audience found it funny.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who had made a name as a human rights and took up the case of Filipino women who were used a as comfort women by Japanese soldiers during the war, explained Duterte’s comment away as a regional, cultural difference. “There’s a difference between a sense of humor in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.

We have a sick president. And his sickness is contagious.