Vice President Leni Robredo and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. (Pic: The Philippine Star)
MANILA: Vice President Leni Robredo said the President’s recent statement that women were unfit for the presidency because of their “emotional setup” undermined efforts aimed at promoting gender equality.According to Robredo, most Filipinos “already knew what the President thinks of women, and we don’t agree with that.”
“We’re surrounded by countries where the leaders are women. During the pandemic, the best-performing states were led by women,” she said, possibly referring to Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen and New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern who earned worldwide praise for successfully keeping Covid-19 cases down to a minimum in their countries. “We don’t have to address this point by point,” Robredo added.
Last week, Duterte sought to play down rumours that his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, was running for President. “This is not for a woman,” he said of his post – even though the Philippines has had two female presidents since 1986. “You know, the emotional setup of a woman and a man is totally different. It will drive you nuts. This is the sad story.”
The President’s statement was the latest in a string of sexist and misogynistic remarks he had made since he took office in 2016.
Robredo reminded Duterte to be “more circumspect” about his remarks, citing their real-life effects on his constituents. For one, his words undermine the long-standing movement for gender equality, and discourage women from participating more in public governance, Robredo said.
“When this is the way the President looks at women, this is not just against Mayor Sara or me, but against all Filipino women,” she said. Mayor Duterte, however, was noncommittal when asked to comment on her father’s statement.
“It’s up to the people to respect or react to that opinion,” she said without elaborating.
Although she recently topped a survey for possible presidential candidates in 2022, Mayor Duterte reacted by saying that she had no plans to succeed her father. She also asked that her name be excluded from future surveys.
“My daughter is not running. I have told Inday not to run because I pity [her] knowing she will have to go through what I am going through,” the President, calling his daughter by her nickname, said last week.
Sara Duterte, 42, was introduced to Davao City politics in 2007 when she ran on a ticket with her father and won as vice mayor. She succeeded him as mayor in 2010.
Meanwhile, Duterte may again volunteer to be the first to receive Covid-19 vaccine in the country if ever there will be widespread public apprehension toward the vaccine, Malacañang said Monday.
Roque was reacting to Vice President Leni Robredo’s statement that the President should be among the first to receive a Covid-19 vaccine shot to boost the public’s confidence in vaccinations.
Robredo issued the statement after Duterte, in a public address last week, said he would be among the last to take the vaccine, as the priority should be the medical frontliners and the vulnerable sectors.
Duterte’s latest statement contradicted his earlier remarks that he’d be among the first to get inoculated against Covid-19 once a vaccine is available in the country.
Roque said it is not impossible for Duterte to revert to his previous pronouncement.
The Philippines is expecting its first Covid-19 vaccine supply by February.
A recent non-commissioned survey by Octa Research showed only one out of four Metro Manila respondents are willing to get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19. The survey was conducted from December 9 to 13, 2020.
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