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Order to target female NPA rebels' vaginas just 'sarcasm' —Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said his statement for soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina was meant to insult New People's Army members who chose to bear children amid their involvement in the armed struggle against the government.

"Sabi ko, 'gamitin niyo ‘yang utak ninyo.' Kaya sabi ko, totoo ‘yun, sabi ko, 'kayong mga amazona,' totoo ‘yan eh, sabi ko, 'Kayong mga buang kayo, sali-sali kayo ng NPA tapos sige anak, pabaril ko ‘yang pekpek ninyo para… totoo ‘yun, that was a sort of a sarcasm," Duterte said in a speech during the launching of the second ARMSCOR Shooting Range in Davao City.  

"Sabi ko, 'Paanak-anak kayo tapos iwanan ninyo?' Kaya sabi ko, 'Ayaw ninyo ihinto? Sabihin ko sa sundalo barilin ‘yung p— ninyo.' Pero it was not actually parang pang-insulto lang ‘yun," he added.

Duterte, in a speech before former communist rebels in Malacañang on February 7, said mutilating women fighters would make them “useless," triggering criticism from various groups including the Gabriela Women's Party, who said the President's pronouncement openly encourages violence against women and contributes to impunity for abusers.

The President seemed unfazed by the criticism, saying he would repeat the warning once he hosted the third batch of former rebels in the presidential palace.

"Ang third batch magpunta sa Malacañang na naman. Ganun din sabihin ko sige kayo panganak, iwanan ninyo mag NPA kayo di na kayo naawa," he said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier advised the public not to take the President literally but take him seriously. —JST, GMA News