Philippines' Duterte Swiftly Condemned for Misogynist Order to Shoot Women 'in the Vagina'

The country's president is known for his brutal anti-drug campaign of extrajudicial killings.

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte issued a vicious order to his soldiers, telling them not to kill female rebel fighters but instead to shoot them in the vagina.

“There’s a new order coming from the mayor, ‘We will not kill you. We will just shoot you in the vagina,’” he said in a speech to about 200 of his soldiers, according to the Guardian. He said women would be "useless" without vaginas. 

The president reportedly said the word "vagina" repeatedly throughout the speech, eliciting laughter from the crowd. But his office later redacted the word from its transcripts of the event.

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"Duterte['s] latest nasty remark openly encourages violence against women, contributes to the impunity on such, and further confirms himself as the most dangerous macho-fascist in the government right now," said Rep. Emmi de Jesus, a representative with the women's group Gabriela. "He has further presented himself as the epitome of misogyny and fascism terribly rolled in one."

Duterte has previously made derogatory and violent comments about women, including seeming to sanction rape. Some of his defenders have said he's just being "funny."

Under his leadership, the Philippines has seen a brutal war on drugs characterized by widespread violence and human rights violations, according to Human Rights Watch, which estimates that more than 12,000 people have been killed under the policy so far.

Carlos Conde, a Philippines researcher for Human Rights Watch, said Duterte's statement “encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, which is a violation of international humanitarian law.”

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.