Philippines: No apology over presidential candidate's rape 'joke'

Philippines Presidential Candidate Rodrigo Duterte.

Story highlights

  • Rodrigo Duterte refuses to apologize over gang rape comments
  • He said rape victim was so beautiful he "should have been first"
  • Comments drew heated criticism from other presidential candidates

(CNN)Philippines presidential hopeful Rodrigo Duterte has refused to apologize after his controversial comments on gang rape.

A YouTube video appeared over the weekend of Duterte joking about the 1989 rape and murder of an Australian missionary that took place in Davao City, in the country's southeast, where he is mayor, CNN Philippines reported.
    "I was angry she was raped, yes that was one thing. But she was so beautiful, I think the mayor should have been first. What a waste," he said, according to a CNN Philippines translation of the comments.
      He told reporters Sunday that what he said was "gutter language" expressed in anger but declined to apologize for the "rape statement."
      "If it brings me down, let it bring me down. If it brings me up to the presidency, then well and good. I will serve you but I will not as a matter of honor apologize for (it)," he told reporters.
      Duterte's comments referred to an incident at Davao City jail during his first term as mayor when inmates took 15 church workers hostage -- including the Australian lay minister.
      His comments drew heated criticism from other hopefuls in the upcoming May 9 presidential election, which one recent poll tipped him to win.
      Jejomar Binay, current Vice President and Presidential candidate, said that Duterte didn't deserve to be elected to the country's top job: "Rape and murder of a woman is not funny at all. Mister Duterte, don't you have a mother? Don't you have daughters? Your statement is simply revolting."