Rodrigo Duterte slammed for ordering troops to shoot female rebels' genitals

Duterte slammed after threat to shoot female rebels in the genitals

"It encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, which is a violation of global humanitarian law", Carlos Conde, a Human Rights Watch representative in the Philippines, said.

Addressing a group of former communist rebels on Wednesday, Duterte, who served as a city mayor before becoming president, appeared to encourage the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to target women in conflict.

"Tell the soldiers: 'There's a new order coming from the mayor, '" he said, in front of 200 former-rebels, including 48 women.

In a speech late Monday night, Duterte said he has no plan to stop the campaign, saying the drug problem in the Philippines is way too serious. "We will just shoot your vaginas so that". "Come on. Just laugh", said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque in a video posted to social media.

"Duterte's latest nasty remark openly encourages violence against women, contributes to the impunity on such, and further confirms himself as the most unsafe macho-fascist in the government right now", she said in a statement.

New York-based Human Rights Watch noted it was not the first time that Mr Duterte has made "misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements" about women.

The official transcript of Duterte's comments released by his office replaces the word "vagina" and the slang for it with a set of dashes.

Duterte has a chequered history of making menacing and misogynistic remarks towards women.

He added that women would be "useless" without their genitals.

Duterte is known for his informal style and his speeches frequently feature profanity, threats and jokes about taboo subjects, which offend some Filipinos, but are taken lightly by many. Speaking at the Philippines-India Business Forum in New Delhi late last month, he remarked that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) fighters lure followers with the promise of "42 virgins" in heaven.

It was not the first time Duterte's comments have angered women's groups.

"Was I mad because of the rape? But she was so attractive, the mayor should have been first", he had said.

"You know, sometimes, these feminists are really a bit OA (overacting)", said Roque. "I mean, that's amusing".

Duterte has also mocked the International Criminal Court for beginning a preliminary investigation into whether the drugs killings amount to crimes against humanity. Some of his defenders have said he's just being "funny".

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