Gabriela Women’s Party called out President Rodrigo Duterte for making inappropriate jokes in a briefing for typhoon “Ulysses,” has killed 73 people as of Tuesday.
During a situation briefing on Sunday, Duterte and some local officials, one of which a former law school classmate of the president, joked about womanizing and having too much and too little sex as public officials.
Duterte also claimed he knew someone who had succumbed to Covid-19 because he had been deprived of women.
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said such jokes were unfitting as “some lost their homes, livelihood and loved ones.”
“Imagine still having the audacity to blabber inappropriate jokes when people literally drowned and died due to the series of calamities,” she said in a statement.
“Instead of dropping sexist remarks, the government should double time in providing emergency assistance. It should also apologize and explain its lack of preparedness and inadequate response tantamount to criminal neglect,” Brosas added.
Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo said the government must urgently and seriously address matters relating to national disasters.
“Para sa’kin, hindi lang with this incident, but with many other incidents. If we’re going through something really serious, it is also very important for us to communicate how urgent a particular matter is,” she said in an interview over ANC’s Headstart.
Defending Duterte, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said the president’s jokes were meant to “lighten the mood.”
“Alam mo, talagang ugali na ng Pilipino na bagama’t marami tayong pagsubok eh sinusubukan pa rin natin na i-lighten iyong ating mga problema,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said of Duterte’s remarks.
“Let’s not read anything beyond the fact na the president wants to more or less lighten the mood dahil buong araw wala siyang nakita kung hindi disaster ‘no doon po sa Cagayan at doon po sa Naga ‘no. So hayaan na po natin, bigyan naman natin ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng light moment iyong ating presidente,” he added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro