Rodrigo Duterte jokes about soldiers committing rapes under martial law he ordered

Source: AP
Source: AP

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, the authoritarian leader accused of overseeing death squads that have killed thousands, joked about government soldiers committing rape during martial law, Reuters reported.

During an address to soldiers on the island of Mindanao, where Duterte imposed martial law in an attempt to crush Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf militants, the president said, "If you go down, I go down. But for this martial law and the consequences of martial law and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible, just do your job I will take care of the rest."

"I'll imprison you myself," he added, referring to troops involved in crimes against the civilian population. "If you had raped three, I will admit it; that's on me."

According to Reuters, Duterte had previously "caused outrage" for joking about the rape of an Australian missionary during a massive prison riot.

Between taking office in June 2016 and April 2017, human rights groups, including Amnesty International, say at least 7,000 people have been murdered by anti-drug death squads that indiscriminately execute both pushers and users. Witnesses have said Duterte, who has claimed to have personally participated in the death squads while serving as mayor of Davao City, oversaw the executions and instructed members on how to dispose of bodies.

U.S. President Donald Trump, nonetheless, told Duterte he was doing an "unbelievable job" on the drug issue in an April call, the Washington Post recently reported, and Trump has invited him to the White House.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Donald Trump responds to Mexico murder rate on Twitter: "We will build the wall!"

"Mexico was just ranked the second deadliest country in the world, after only Syria," the president claimed.

Obama defends his signature health care law as Senate unveils plan to repeal it

"The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill."

Democrats blast "heartless" Republican health care bill

Senate Democrats seek to stall "monstrosity of a bill" as Republican leaders push for quick AHCA vote.

Experts say the Senate health care bill is even worse for poor people than the House bill

Many expected the Senate to moderate the House bill. That didn't happen.

Investigators found election hackers stole voters' private data, new report says

Data breaches during the 2016 election cycle may be even worse than previously known.

Senate health care bill already in trouble as Republicans voice opposition

Four Republican Senators say they will not vote for the health care plan in its current form.

Donald Trump responds to Mexico murder rate on Twitter: "We will build the wall!"

"Mexico was just ranked the second deadliest country in the world, after only Syria," the president claimed.

Obama defends his signature health care law as Senate unveils plan to repeal it

"The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill."

Democrats blast "heartless" Republican health care bill

Senate Democrats seek to stall "monstrosity of a bill" as Republican leaders push for quick AHCA vote.

Experts say the Senate health care bill is even worse for poor people than the House bill

Many expected the Senate to moderate the House bill. That didn't happen.

Investigators found election hackers stole voters' private data, new report says

Data breaches during the 2016 election cycle may be even worse than previously known.

Senate health care bill already in trouble as Republicans voice opposition

Four Republican Senators say they will not vote for the health care plan in its current form.