MANILA, Philippines — Detained Senator Leila De Lima took a swipe anew against President Rodrigo Duterte, saying that the latter’s order to soldiers to shoot female New People’s Army (NPA) members in the genitals mirror his personality as a “sex-obsessed sociopath.”
In a statement released on Tuesday, De Lima, the president’s fiercest critic, said that Duterte believes women are only useful if they can give birth and raise children and that it is manly to promote sexual violence.
“A few days before Valentine’s Day, Duterte has again demonstrated that he is a gift that keeps on giving – a gift as unwanted as misogyny, pointless violence, and assault against law, human rights and human decency inflicted upon an unwilling audience,” De Lima said.
“It is reported that last week, Duterte boasted that he had, in the past, ordered soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in the genitals. It seems to be implied that it’s but a fitting punishment because such women preferred joining rebel forces over raising children; he even allegedly went on to point out that “if there is no vagina, it would be useless,” she added.
The lady senator also said that the president’s remarks are a threat not to the rebels but against the soldiers and the Filipino people.
She even called on the military to not be manipulated by Duterte at the expense of what the senator called as “brutality and bloodlust.”
“They will be weaponized to become the very monsters and inflict the very same horrors that they have sworn to protect the state against. He is a corruption that will destroy the institution and the very essence of being a Filipino soldier. I will go out on a limb and say that that is not what they are sacrificing their lives and their family’s happiness for,” De Lima said.
“Dear soldiers, brave men and women of the Philippine armed forces, let it not be,” she added.
De Lima also described Duterte as a “damaged man” who “needs to seek professional help.”
However, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque came on to defend Duterte, saying that people should not take the president’s remarks literally.
“We should already know the President…Do not take the President literally, but take him seriously,” Roque said in mix Filipino and English.