Philippines’ Duterte Jokes About Rape During Martial Law

Amid concerns about possible abuses during a period of martial law, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte appeared to reassure soldiers that they wouldn’t face consequences for any crimes committed. While saying he would not tolerate any such abuses, Duterte told a group of soldiers on Mindanao island that he personally would take responsibility for any misdeeds committed by soldiers. “If you go down, I go down. But for this martial law and the consequences of martial law and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible, just do your job, I will take care of the rest,” Duterte said Friday, according to official transcripts. Referring to soldiers who commit abuses, he said, “If you had raped three, I will admit it, that's on me.” His comments came days after he imposed martial law in the region as soldiers battled to reclaim the southern city of Marawi from a group of ISIS-linked extremists who seized buildings and took hostages.