Robredo slams Duterte over claim that presidency not for women

President Rodrigo Duterte & VP Leni Robredo

PHILIPPINE Vice President Leni Robredo has responded to President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks claiming that women are not fit for the country’s highest office.

During her weekly radio show on Sunday, January 17, Robredo said: “Unang una, alam natin kung ano iyong pagtingin ni Pangulo sa mga kababaihan, at hindi tayo sang-ayon doon. Napakababa ng pagtingin sa mga kababaihan, kaya nga nangyayari itong mga sinasabi niya (First of all, we know already know how the President views women, and we disagree with that. He has a very low regard for women that’s why he said what he said).”

Duterte on Thursday, January 14 revealed that he advised his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, against running for the presidency in 2022, after which, he claimed that women are not equipped to handle the top government post.

“My daughter, they are urging her. I said my daughter is not running. I have told Inday not to run because I take pity if she goes through what I went through. It’s not for women,” he said in Filipino.

“You know, the emotional set-up of a woman and a man is totally different. You will become a fool here. That is the sad story,” he added.

Robredo, for her part, contradicted his sexist remark, noting that countries led by women have performed better in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pangalawa, napapaligiran tayo sa buong mundo ng mga babaeng napakahuhusay na chief executives. In fact, during the pandemic, iyong mga best performing na mga bansa ay led by women (Second, we are surrounded by women who are excellent chief executives. In fact, during the pandemic, the best-performing countries are those led by women),” she said, The vice president also pointed out that Duterte’s words are not helping the ongoing fight for gender equality and women’s rights.

“Kapag iyong pangulo nagsalita ng ganito, hindi siya nakakatulong. Nade-deflate niya iyong kampanya. Na tingin ko dapat sana responsibility niya din na maging circumspect sa mga sinasabi, kasi pangulo siya eh (If the president says this kind of words, he is not helping. He deflates the campaign. I think it is his responsibility to be circumspect in his words, because he is the president),” said Robredo.

“Hindi lang naman ito kay Mayor Sara o sa akin o kung sino pang mga kilalang women leaders, pero sa lahat ng kababaihang mga Pilipino, lahat ng Pilipina, may epekto ‘yung mababang pagtingin ng pinuno (It is not just against Mayor Sara or me or other female leaders. The low perception of the President on women has an effect on all Filipino women),” she added.

Robredo underscored the importance of women in government.

“Iyong values na pinapaniwalaan natin, iyong respeto sa kababaihan ay mataas, dapat ginagalang iyong mga kababaihan. Iyong sa akin, iyong participation ng kababaihan sa governance, mahalaga (The values that we believe in, the respect for women is high, women should be respected. For me, the participation of women in governance is important),” she said.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at ritchel.mendiola@asianjournalinc.com.

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