​VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Has Duterte never disrespected women?

President Rodrigo Duterte claimed he has always treated women well.

During his speech at an event called, “Digong’s Day for Women,” in March, Duterte said he may like joking around but he actually respects women.


“Kaya kayong mga babae, mabait man ako. Hindi man ako ganun, palabiro lang ako… Pero hindi ako bad boy talaga, huwag kayong maniwala diyan sa— kilala naman ninyo, kailan ba ako nagbastos ng babae?”

(To the women, I’m actually kind. I’m not like that, I joke around a lot. But I’m not a ‘bad boy,’ don’t believe those…You know me, when was I ever rude to women?)

(Source: Speech during “Digong’s Day For Women,” at Malacañan Palace, March 31, 2017, watch from 01:06:54-01:07:33)


Duterte has come under fire for his numerous rape remarks and sexist comments, with a women’s group at one point accusing him of perpetuating “sexist bullying.”

Among the most recent one was his speech before a group of soldiers in Iligan City.

In assuring the troops that he will be responsible for the consequences of his Martial Law declaration in Mindanao, Duterte said:

“I and I alone would be responsible, trabaho lang kayo. (applause) Ako nang bahala. Ako na ang magpakulong sa inyo. Pag naka-rape ka ng tatlo, aminin ko na akin ‘yun. Pag nag-asawa ka ng pang-apat, (expletive) bugbugin ka…”

(I and I alone would be responsible, just keep working. I’m responsible for you. I’ll be the one to send you to jail. If you rape three I’ll take the blame for it. If you take a fourth wife, you’ll be beaten up.)”

(Source: Speech before the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade of Philippine Army at Multi-Purpose Hall, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, May 26, 2017, watch from 13:32-14:09)

His “joke” did not sit well with some women. Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US President Bill Clinton, reacted to Duterte’s comment and tweeted, “Not funny. Ever.”

(Source: Chelsea Clinton Twitter account)

Duterte retorted by recalling a scandal involving Bill Clinton.

Sabihin ko sa kanya, (I’ll tell her) when your father, the President of the United then was screwing Lewinsky and the girls there in the White House, how did you feel? Did you slam your father?”

(Source: Speech during the 119th anniversary of the Philippine Navy at Sasa Wharf, Davao City, May 31, 2017, watch from 26:30-26:57)

The president also said he was being “sarcastic” and not joking.

In his speech on June 2 before the 102nd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army, Duterte said his rape statement was a sarcastic remark intended for the American soldiers.

“Rape-in tapos bigyan ng visa, bigyan ng hanapbuhay ang pamilya, tapos na. Walang problema, no liability. Iyan ang ibig kong sabihin. Ang gumagawa niyan ang Amerikano, hindi Pilipino.”

(They will rape Filipinas then give them US visa, provide livelihood for their family, then that’s it. No more problem, no liability. That what I meant. It’s the American soldiers who do that, not Filipinos.)

(Source: PCO PND Transcriber, Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte at the 102nd Infantry Brigade, Zamboanga Sibugay, June 2, 2017)

During the elections, a video where Duterte narrated the hostage taking at Davao Metrodiscom in 1989 went viral for his comments on the rape and murder of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill. He said:

“Sabi ng… ni rape nila lahat yung babae… Ang isa doon yung lay minister na Australiana… (expletive), sayang. Ang napasok sa isip ko, ni-rape nila. Pinagpilahan nila lahat doon. ‘Pag nagalit ako. Kasi ni-rape? Oo, isa rin yun. Pero ang magaganda, dapat ang mayor muna ang mauna.”

(They raped all the women. One of them was the lay minister who was Australian. Such a waste. I thought, they raped her. They fell in line to rape her there. I was mad. Because she was raped? Well, yes, that’s one. But in raping beautiful women, the mayor should go first.)

(Source: YouTube user: Beatboxer ng Pinas, Duterte on Australian Rape Victim: “Napakaganda. Dapat Mayor ang Mauna,” uploaded on April 16, 2016, watch from 0:00 to 01:00)

Duterte defended his remark in a media interview, saying it was not a joke. He was merely narrating what happened in gutter language “in (the) heat of anger.”

In another YouTube video, Duterte narrated another story where a Jesuit priest asked what his sins were.

Although unclear whether it really happened, Duterte recounted how he supposedly sexually violated a domestic worker.

Duterte said he went to the room of the worker and touched her:

“I lifted the blanket. Then? I lifted it higher and I, just touched her. Okay I can understand you. Here’s the punishment, Our Father, Hail Mary. But what did you do after? I went to the bathroom. And? You know. So that was the only… No, father. Why? I went back and peeped a little longer. Ang what… I went back to the bathroom again. Again?”

(Source: YouTube user PH Cold Hard Facts, uploaded on April 12, 2016, watch from 0:07 – 1:56)

Months after, he joked about Vice President Leni Robredo’s legs and skirt. He said he shared his observation with Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez:

“Tingnan mo iyong tuhod ni—nung nahalata niya, sige hila siya. (laughter) Gusto ko sabihin, “Ma’am, mag-shorts ka na lang kaya. (laughter) Bakit magpa-iksi-iksi ka ng damit, tapos—”

(Look at Leni’s knees. When she noticed I was looking, she pulled her skirt down. I wanted to say, “Maam, why don’t you just wear shorts?” Why wear a short dress….)

(Source: Speech during the 3rd Year Yolanda Commemoration at the Tacloban Mass Grave, Barangay Basper, Tacloban City, Nov. 8, 2016, watch 27:03 to 27:36)

In multiple media reports, Robredo said she chose to ignore Duterte’s “inappropriate remarks” as there are “larger and more urgent issues” to attend to.

Robredo also said “tasteless remarks and inappropriate advances against women should have no place in our society.”

Sources:, Robredo calls out Duterte over ‘inappropriate remarks’

ABS-CBN News, Len after Duterte tease: ‘Tasteless’ remarks have no place in society, Leni on Duterte tease: Tasteless, Duterte on rape ‘joke’: No apologies

CNN, Philippines: No apology over presidential candidate’s rape ‘joke’

GMA News Online, Duterte refuses to apologize for rape joke