Vice President Leni Robredo’s statement on rape in 2018 resurfaced as some social media users took it out of context and attempted to connect it to the recent murder of the 16-year-old in Cebu.
The head of the Liberal Party was quoted as saying “rape exists because of rapists” to President Rodrigo Duterte who is known for making rape jokes.
Robredo’s remark was turned into a meme by some social media users who shared a black-and-white picture of her with the quote and mockingly called her a “great philosopher.”
A Facebook user countered Robredo’s remarks and attempted to justified rape by saying that “rapists exist because one has done rape. And rape exists because the rapist had been given the oppurtunity [sic] to rape.”
The justification was called out by critical social media users who noted that Robredo’s words were misunderstood and taken out of context.
"Rapists exist because the rapist has been given the opportunity to rape." Kuya, ang daring ng argument mo halos nadissolve yung brain cells ko. You fail to consider the context on why Leni said this. pic.twitter.com/Bi6pmttQRo
— drei (@andrei_bonite) March 13, 2019
“This is was supposed to be her indirect response to when Duterte jokingly stated that as long as there are beautiful women in the Philippines, rapes [sic] cases will increase,” a Twitter user wrote in a thread as a response to the Facebook post.
“To elaborate what Leni said, in which most people fail to understand, is that rape exists because of rape. It did not exists [sic] because women were too provocative, or sala ng bae [babae] na gwapa siya or any reason that blames victims,” the user continued.
Former Presidential Communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson on March 12, Tuesday attempted to connect Robredo’s remark with the issue of the 16-year-old student who was allegedly raped and killed.
“Dahil naging issue ngayon ang pagkamatay ng isang babae na rape alamin natin ang pananaw ni FVP Leni patungkol sa RAPE. Eto ang kanyang sinabi noong Sept 3, 2018,” she wrote in the caption with a link of the article.
However, Robredo was saying the remark as a rebuttal to Duterte’s comments where he falsely attributed the reported rise of rape cases in Davao to “beautiful women.”
“They said that Davao had many rape cases. For as long as there are many beautiful women, there are plenty of rape cases as well,” the chief executive said in Cebuano during the 49th founding anniversary of Mandaue City in Cebu on August 30, 2018.
The vice president called him out and reasoned that rape exists because there are people who chose to commit the crime.
“We have to protest. We know that’s not right. There is rape because there are rapists, not because there are pretty girls,” Robredo said.
Cebu ‘rape-slay’ case
Mocha Uson falsely attributed Robredo’s words that were originally aimed at Duterte to that of the vice president’s opinion about rape in general.
When reports of a 16-year-old student who was allegedly raped and killed made headlines, Uson attempted to mislead social media users by using Robredo’s statement that was unrelated to the present case.
The case involved a 16-year-old student who was discovered lifeless in a vacant lot in Sitio Mahayahay, Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City on March 11, Monday.
Authorities found multiple stab wounds on her body which was left naked from the waist down, prompting them to think that she might have been raped.
However, medico legal officer doctor Benjamin Lara eventually debunked the claim and said that the student was not raped.
It was attested by Police Colonel Limuel Obon, the director of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, who said that there were no injuries found in the student’s genitalia after an autopsy was conducted.
“Sa autopsy po walang indication na ganoon [rape] although mayroon wounds pero deep healed na po iyon. Ibig sabihin more than two weeks na nangyari,” he shared in an interview.
A P1.6 million reward is offered to anyone who has information that might lead to the arrest of the suspects. — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos