Press Release
March 31, 2017

Statement of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on President Duterte's foulmouthed rants against the EU, media and Catholic church

I am not surprised anymore by President Rodrigo Duterte's latest expletive-laden remarks against the media, European Union (EU)and the Catholic church. Masquerading as "authentic politics", the government has embraced profanity, misogyny and the lack of overall decency as political strategies to attack and silence its critics.

It is inconsistent and guided by a double standard. The President can rant and curse at the EU but can't do the same to China, which has not only fortified its presence in the West Philippine Sea but is also now present at Benham Rise. President Duterte can lambast several media outfits as controlled by oligarchs but is sheepish towards the Marcoses, who during Martial Law created their own oligarchy. The President is tough on poor drug dependents but can't muster the same tough stance against big-time drug lords like Peter Lim.

President Duterte's profanity, sexist rhetoric and double standards should not be mistaken for authenticity. We should also not confuse strong leadership and political will with inane rants sprinkled with cuss words and machismo. When the President's language degrades and objectifies women, is a virtual threat to the freedom of the press and severely undermines our foreign policy framework, it becomes unacceptable. It must not be tolerated. It must be confronted and resisted.

Amid these trying times, I urge my friends in the media to continue to exercise their journalistic rights. I also urge our friends in the international community to continue to extend their solidarity to us. Lastly, I call on my fellow women to continue the resistance against the culture and language of killing, misogyny and sexism in the country.

We will not be intimidated.

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