‘You can each rape 3 women, I’ll protect you,’ Duterte jokingly tells
Philippines troops

Philippines president tells military personnel implementing martial law
they have his full support.

By Vasudevan Sridharan


27 May 2017

Firebrand Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is never short of
politically controversial statements. His latest was addressed to
Filipino troops engaged in implementing martial law in the restive
Mindanao region.

While reassuring them that they have his full backing, Duterte told the
troops he is ready to bear the consequences of fighting the extremists.
Then the foul-mouthed president went on to jokingly remark: “You can
each rape three women and I will protect you.” He also told the troops
that they were free to arrest any person or search any house if necessary.

On 24 May, Duterte declared martial law in southern Philippines after
intense clashes broke out between the Filipino military and the Maute
group, an extremist organisation that pledged allegiance to the Isis. He
had to abruptly cut short his trip to Russia and return to control the
escalating situation.

The whole of the southern region of Mindanao is under martial law,
bringing roughly one-third of the country or up to 20 million people
under the emergency measure.

“Do not worry. I will join you. I will… If you go down, I go down. But
for this martial law and the consequences and [its] ramifications, I and
I alone would be responsible. I am here to say to you, fight and I will
pray for you and I will answer for everything,” Duterte told his
military personnel.

He added that the doors for dialogue are still open if the extremists
were ready to drop their arms. “If you cannot be convinced to stop
fighting, so be it,” Duterte said.