Author-journalist Joel Pablo Salud wrote about the trauma of rape victims in reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s most recent remark on rape.
Duterte made another rape joke at the graduation rites of the Philippine Military Academy on May 26. He quipped that he will pardon graduating cadets who committed rape during the traditional pardoning of offenses even if some of the cadets that time were women.
It drew the ire of many women’s rights groups and other concerned Filipinos.
Salud, editor-in-chief of the Philippine Graphic, shared a disturbing narrative of what victims go through during rape. This was directed at people who still make the crime as a subject in jest.
“What is so funny about rape? Do you even have the slightest idea what it’s like to be raped? To be forced—brutally—to succumb to the violence that go with violation?” he said on Facebook on May 27.
“To have these perverts beat you to a pulp so they can slobber over your face and neck, spread their spit and sweat and piss over your naked body, torn and broken as it is from an earlier beating and torture?” he added.
He also detailed how rape is an act of power play which makes victims unable to call for help.
“They make you to feel so helpless, so unable to fight back that you begin to wonder if you were to blame for it. They beat and ravage you over and over and over and over until their lusts run out, until your life hangs by a measly thread,” Salud wrote.
Moreover, the veteran journalist explained why many victims chose to be silent:
“And then there’s the police officer and the judge who would turn the story around, saying it was your fault for wearing clothes deemed inappropriate on that day.”
“And so, instead of pursuing the case, you fall into the silence born from the trauma, with the face of the rapist(s) and the pain and the humiliation haunting your every step.”
Salud then ended the post with: “Tell me, PMA graduates, what is so fucking funny about rape?”
Salud published a collection of short fiction “The Distance of Rhymes and Other Tragedies” and political essays “Blood Republic.”
The Center for Women’s Resources stated that a woman or a child is raped every 62 minutes based on police records in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service recorded 43 cops with rape charges since 2015.
Supporters on the rape joke
Despite the consequences of such remarks, Malacañang continues to defend Duterte’s remarks.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said that the supposed jokes are the president’s way to lighten the mood of the crowd at official events.
“People have been so used to his jokes hence his audience always receive them with hearty laughter,” Panelo said.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde, a PMA graduate, likewise said that the speech was “an obvious joke.”
“But that’s an obvious joke. In fairness to the president, he probably just wanted to make everybody happy or he probably wanted to make people there laugh,” Albayalde said.