Duterte Made Another Rape Joke. But Filipinos ‘Really Get Him,’ an Aide Says

TIME

A spokesman for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has justified a rape joke the president made on the grounds that the “majority of the people, especially the masses, really get him.”

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella came to Duterte’s defense at a press briefing Monday, Philippine news site Rapplerreports, after the latter was criticized for remarks he made on Friday suggesting that some rapists were worthy of congratulations.

“What I don’t like are kids [being raped],” Duterte reportedly said during a speech in his Davao City hometown, Friday. “You can mess with, maybe, Miss Universe. Maybe I will even congratulate you for having the balls to rape somebody when you know you are going to die.”

The Philippines hosted the Miss Universe beauty pageant in January this year. Rumors Duterte would judge the pageant flared in the local press before its organizers said having government judges contravened official policy.

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