Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte said women who chose to fight for the communist group New People’s Army instead of having children should be shot in the genitals.
Duterte, who is known for his controversial orders to kill drug dealers, boasted about the shocking directive he gave when he was still the mayor of Davao City.
“Tell the soldiers, ‘There’s a new order coming from the mayor: We will not kill you. We will just shoot you in the vagina,’” he said last week.
He added that women would be “useless” without their genitals.
Human Rights Watch’s Carlos H. Conde said Duterte’s comments encourage “state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, which is a violation of international humanitarian law.”
Emmi de Jesus, of the Gabriela Women’s Party, slammed Duterte as a “dangerous macho-fascist” and told local news sources, “He has further presented himself as the epitome of misogyny and fascism terribly rolled in one.”
Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque dismissed the ensuing furor as an overreaction from feminists.
“I mean, that’s funny. Come on. Just laugh,” Roque said.
The government has been embroiled in an ongoing conflict with communist rebels in the country, as peace talks stalled after Duterte declared the Communist Party and the New People’s Army terrorist organizations in 2017.