Philippines President Duterte admits to sexually assaulting maid
1st January 2019

Although a spokesperson later said the president had invented the claim, women’s rights groups have criticised him and called for his resignation.

During a speech criticising abuses within the Catholic Church, of which the president has also claimed to be a victim, Mr Duterte publicly admitted to the crime.

He described confessing the assault to a priest as a teenager, saying: “I went to the room of the maid. I lifted the blanket. I tried to touch what was inside the panty. I was touching. She woke up. So I left the room.”

According to Philippines-based news website Rappler, the priest told him to say the Lord’s Prayer five times and five Hail Marys “because you will go to hell” after the confession.

Women’s rights political organisation Gabriela said the president was “unworthy of his position and should resign”.

During his speech, the president went on to criticise multiple aspects of Catholic dogma, including the Holy Trinity, and mocked Jesus Christ as “unimpressive” for his crucifixion.

He suggested that if he had been God, he would have told them: “Lightning, finish all of them. Burn all the non-believers.”

The UN’s human rights chief attacked Mr Duterte last March, claiming he needed “psychiatric evaluation” after the controversial leader launched profanity-laced diatribes against UN officials.

Feminists have criticised the 73-year-old for his misogyny following numerous jokes he has made about rape.

In June he sparked anger after kissing a Filipino woman on the lips while on an official visit to South Korea.

Mr Duterte has also been criticised by Western governments and UN human rights officials for his anti-drug killings and threats to human rights.

More than 4,000 mostly poor drug suspects have been killed in clashes with police that officials say erupted because the suspects fought back.

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