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Gabriela literally, seriously angry over Roque defense of 'vagina' remark

Militants stage a protest against the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement in front of the Supreme Court. AP, file
MANILA, Philippines — Gabriela Women's Party on Tuesday scored presidential spokesperson Harry Roque for trying to justify President Rodrigo Duterte's "order" that female guerrillas should be shot in their vaginas.
 
Gabriela said Roque's clarification on Duterte's "obscene endorsement of violence against women" was "lame" and "ridiculous."
 
According to a Presidential Communications Operations Office transcription and translation of Duterte's comments in Bisaya in a meeting with former rebels last week, the president said: "Tell the soldiers. 'There's a new order coming from mayor. We won't kill you. We will just shoot your ---- so that... If there are no ---- it would be useless."
 
Roque, in a press conference earlier Tuesday, said: "Let's not take what the president says literally, but let us take him seriously."
 
 
But Gabriela, which left the House supermajority last year, said: "Whether taken literally or not, Duterte's 'shoot in the vagina' remark is glaring proof of his macho-fascist mindset, and constitutes a flamboyant seal of approval to what was otherwise barbaric acts that the [Armed Forces of the Philippines] used to conceal or keep secret."
 
"Duterte should expect angry vaginas to furiously denounce his macho-fascism. We advise this regime to take the anger of vaginas, women and the nation literally and seriously," the group added.
 
Gabriela also chided Roque for his callous defense of Duterte. The party said the Palace spokesman should be more mindful as he once represented victims whose genitals had actually and literally been shot.
 
"Roque should also be fully aware of the magnitude of the president's statement as the former lawyer of the victims of the Ampatuan massacre where a witness testified that women victims were stripped and shot in their genitals, their vital parts chopped with a knife," the group said.
 
The Palace spokesman, then part of the Center for International Law, represented some of the victims in the gruesome murder in Maguindanao in 2009. 
 
Roque's appointment as Duterte's spokesperson was met with criticism and disappointment as groups pointed out that the former human rights lawyer will be the microphone of the administration believed to be built on blood from extrajudicial killings.
 
The government has insisted extrajudicial killings and summary executions are not government policy.
 
Gabriela said that they will stage a massive dance protest, in line with the One Billion Rising campaign, on Wednesday to call out Duterte for his misogynist remarks.
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