Duterte, Who Cracked Rape Jokes, Signs Anti-Catcalling Law

(Bloomberg) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has made controversial remarks about rape and women, approved a law penalizing sexist remarks and catcalling.

The law imposing fines up to 500,000 pesos ($9,830) and four-year jail time for sexual harassment in public and on the Internet “does not apply” to the president, his spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Tuesday.

“When he cracks jokes, it is intended to make people laugh, never to offend,” Panelo said, adding that Duterte respects women and that he’s never lewd.

During his election campaign in 2016, Duterte made light of the rape and murder of an Australian missionary. Last year, he told soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in the vagina, and months later kissed a Filipino migrant worker in South Korea. At the military academy in May, Duterte said he would pardon all the crimes of the graduating students, including rape.

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