Duterte ‘in crosshairs’ with new law on harassment

Duterte ‘in crosshairs’ with new law on harassment

In this March 8, 2018 file photo, a protester displays a placard during a rally to mark International Women's Day which largely turns out to be an anti-government event in Manila, Philippines. (AP)
In this March 8, 2018 file photo, a protester displays a placard during a rally to mark International Women's Day which largely turns out to be an anti-government event in Manila, Philippines. (AP)

MANILA: Philippine activists have welcomed a new law against a range of acts of sexual harassment that the president signed but they say ironically puts him in its crosshairs given his open history of crude sexual remarks and actions.

Philippine officials on Monday belatedly released a copy of Republic Act 11313, known as the “Safe Spaces Act”, which President Rodrigo Duterte signed in April and penalises such acts as catcalling, wolf-whistling and offensive sexual jokes. Duterte, however, is among those in the crosshairs of pro-women activists.

Activist Jean Enriquez says it's ironic for Duterte to sign such a law “because he is the primary purveyor of misogynism and catcalling.”

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo says when Duterte “cracks jokes, it's intended to make people laugh, never to offend.”


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