Roxas camp: Can Duterte protect OFWs in countries he offended?
Will Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte protect overseas Filipino workers in the countries he has insulted?
The camp of Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas has posed this question to his rival Duterte, who is in hot water for spewing controversial remarks about an Australian rape victim and scoring Mexico at a recent event attended by its ambassador to the Philippines.
“Mayor Duterte has now insulted two countries. These countries are our friends who accept our OFWs, join us in making a stand against the theft of our territory, and help us in improving our economy,” Daang Matuwid coalition and Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez said on Tuesday.
“Is this the President we want? How will he protect our OFWs if these countries are mad at him?”
In one of his campaign sorties, Duterte told the story of the 1989 jail hostage in Davao City where Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill was gang-raped and murdered by the inmates.
Duterte then made a comment: “Son of a b****, what a waste. I was thinking that they raped her and lined up. I was angry because she was raped, that’s one thing. But she was so beautiful, the mayor should have been first, what a waste,” he added, eliciting laughs from the crowd.
Duterte’s remarks have drawn violent reactions from the public, including his rivals, other national candidates, religious officials, netizens and even the Australian government.
In a tweet, Australian ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorley said: “Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialized. Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere.”
Asked to comment on Gorley’s tweet, Duterte said the Australian government should back off. “This is politics. Stay out. Stay out Australian government. Stay out.”
Gutierrez also chided Duterte for allowing China to “rape” the sovereignty of the Philippines.
“Why is Mayor Duterte insulting our allies but he lets China rape our sovereignty? We are not seeing the true colors of Mayor Duterte: no regard for the plight of Filipinos, so long as he comes out as the hero,” Gutierrez said.
Duterte, who had gained popularity for his iron-fist style of leadership, received criticisms after insinuating that the Philippines should not assert its ownership of the disputed West Philippine Sea.
Duterte’s spokespersons later took back the mayor’s statement and said he had always been in full support of the Philippines’ arbitration case against China. RC
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