“I will be imprisoned for you. If you rape three (women), I will say I did it.”
This statement displays the President’s impunity—that he is not simply above the law rather he is “the Law”. He is serving the women in a silver platter to the military. That it is okay to rape. He is encouraging the soldiers to commit a crime: one, to kill and two, rape not one but as many women as the soldiers can.
The statement also displays he is the displaying his patron mindset. He is taking responsibility over his “servants” crimes. He is actually saying that the soldiers cannot be held accountable / liable for crimes.
The statement displays his machismo. He sees women as his unequal and mere sex objects. All the more chilling given that women and children bear the ill effects of any conflict or war.
We have seen these conflict areas around the world and even in our own history, rape committed during war is often intended to terrorize the population, destroy communities, and, in some cases, change the ethnic make-up of the next generation. Sometimes it is also used to deliberately infect women with HIV or render women from the targeted community incapable of bearing children.
In this sense, rape is a tool of subjugating a weaker entity to a more powerful one. It is not “a joke”, rather it was a tasteless, sexist and misogynistic comment unless he thinks that soldiers are rapists, like him when he commented on the rape of the Australian Missionary while he was still running for office as a Presidential candidate.
And what makes it more tyrannically that he made that statement now that he has declared Martial Law, unjustifiably declared Martial Law— a time when the military is given and think they have more power or that they are above the civilian authority—which under ordinary situation is supreme over military.
The military knows thay have more power, even if the Constitution operates and the rights of the people are guaranteed. And since the writ of habeas corpus is suspended and the military has power to arrest anybody which was previously a police function, we fear that abuses are likely.
Now more than ever that we should be vigilant. We call on our brothers and sisters in uniform to resist illegal orders and respect the rights of Filipinos.
Together let us Resist Tyranny and Uphold Democratic Rights. ###