A Philippine mayor, who built a reputation for fighting crime, apologized on Tuesday for a rape comment that caused a political storm and could dent his chances of winning the presidency in an election three weeks away.
Rodrigo Duterte, who opinion polls show as the frontrunner, issued a statement saying he regretted the remark about an Australian woman who was raped and killed in a prison riot in 1989.
The video of his comment, made at a recent rally, appeared on YouTube at the weekend and he had until Tuesday refused to apologize.
His comment sounded like a joke when he spoke of the attractiveness of the rape victim and it caused a public outcry that experts said could cost him votes.
“I apologize to the Filipino people for my recent remarks,” said Duterte, who is the first presidential candidate from the southern island of Mindanao.
“There was no intention of disrespecting our women and those who have been victims of this horrible crime. Sometimes my mouth can get the better of me. My life is an open book. I am a man of many flaws and contradictions,” he added. Read More