Don’t joke about rape and murder, says Australian envoy

MANILA, Philippines — Australia’s ambassador to the Philippines is displeased over jokes on rape and murder after presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte and his supporters made fun of the 1989 assault on an Australian missionary in Davao City.

“Rape and murder should never be joked about or trivialized,” Australian Ambassador Amanda Gorely said in a statement on Twitter.

“Violence against women and girls is unacceptable anytime, anywhere,” Gorely added.

Duterte’s comments were caught on video, saying he finds the missionary beautiful and lamented that he was upstaged by the prison inmates who committed the rape and killing of the Australian woman.

His comments drew a slew of criticisms on social media and from his rival candidates, saying his remarks were insensitive, unacceptable and shows lack of respect for women.

President Benigno S. Aquino III’s spokesman Herminio Coloma says Duterte’s offer to serve as President “truly deserves scrutiny” and that his words shows his “lack of fitness” for the position.

Known for his brazen expletive-laced speeches and bragging about his sexual conquests, Duterte, 71, did not apologize for his comments, saying what he said was merely a joke. PNA/