Early in the week, the leading presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has sparked an outrage from many Filipino netizens and caught the attention of foreign media after a video of him making comments about a murdered Australian rape victim spread online.
Much have been said about the issue and the turn of events has been so fast that the mayor has already issued an official statement and a public apology regarding the infamous rape joke.
One of those who were vocal about their opinions was Monique Wilson, an International stage actor and women’s rights advocate who posted an open letter addressed to the Mayor which she published in her Facebook Account on April 18.
Click on this link to read the full text: https://www.facebook.com/monique.wilson.3785/posts/10153801730947670
In the letter, she emphasized that she is not a Duterte hater and that she doesn’t know the mayor personally. She also made known that the mayor has been supportive of women’s groups as shown in the many pro-women projects implemented in Davao City. Ms. Wilson also reiterated that she believes how Mayor Duterte stands with the marginalized, the farmers and the like.
However, what could not escape her is the seemingly male machismo entitlement that the mayor has exhibited often and for which he has been criticized heavily by bashers and even by some of his supporters. Ms. Wilson narrated how she comes from a family where his father wielded violent, derogatory words on her mother. Her father was also a public official, a Vice Mayor in Makati, highly esteemed for not being corrupt and for creating programs that addressed the poor and the marginalized. It was also the first time the actress admitted publicly that her father is a womanizer and how she defended her reputation for so long before she took a stand and fought for the rights of women by joining the cause of Gabriela and many others.
What Ms. Wilson was driving at was the honorable Mayor’s words that perpetuates RAPE CULTURE, one that the likes of Lola Narcisa – one of our Philippine comfort women have been struggling to fight against and which should not in any way be accepted as a laughing matter, especially by someone who is running for the highest position of the land. Ms. Wilson also mentioned that the Mayor’s apology was not acceptable as it was full of more defensive justifications and characterized by the lack of humility to admit that a wrong has been done.
At the end of her piece was an appeal to the most popular Presidential candidate to quote:
Please give Lola Narcisa, and the countless, often times nameless, faceless, invisible women and girls DIGNITY.
Please allow humility to deepen your education and understanding of rape.
And please please use your privilege, your influence and your power, to end rape culture.
Click here to view the full text of this Open Letter.
The photo above is of Lola Narcisa Claveria, which Ms. Wilson used in her post. This FB post has been shared 10,905 times as of writing.
Image credit: Photos by Monique Wilson FB account