Shoot female rebels in the vagina - Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while answering questions during his pre-departure press conference before leaving for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Laos at the Davao International Airport in Davao city, Philippines September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr - RTX2O63A
Photo credit: File

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has encouraged soldiers to shoot female communist rebels in the genitals.

"Tell the soldiers: 'There's a new order coming from the mayor,'" he said, in front of 200 former-rebels, including 48 women.

"We won't kill you. We will just shoot your vagina," he told the crowd, according to a government transcript of a speech he delivered on February 7.

"We will just shoot your [genitals], so that if there are no more [genitals], you would be useless."

It's the latest in a series of misogynistic remarks from Mr Duterte, who in May 2017 joked soldiers could rape up to three women without being punished.

Only months later he made a series of rape jokes towards the winner of Miss Universe.

"What I don't like are kids [being raped]," he told Filipino diplomats while speaking on drug use in his country.

"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."

Last month, Mr Duterte said he would offer 42 virgins to attract tourists to visit the country.

His comments are being slammed by human rights groups who say it sets a violent and dangerous precedent of the acceptable behaviour towards women.

Representative of the Gabriela Women's Party in Manila Emmi De Jesus told media his remarks "further confirm himself as the most dangerous macho-fascist in the government right now".

"It's just the latest in a series of misogynist, derogatory and demeaning statements he has made about women," Human Rights Watch added in a statement sent to Al Jazeera on Monday.

"It encourages state forces to commit sexual violence during armed conflict, which is a violation of international humanitarian law."

But Mr Duterte's spokesman, Harry Roque, says critics need to take a joke.

"You know, sometimes, these feminists are really a bit [overreactive].

"I mean, that's funny. Come on. Just laugh."

Newshub.