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Philippines president jokes about rape in speech to soldiers

Associated Press logo Associated Press 27/05/2017
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, addresses troops during his visit to the 2nd Mechanized Brigade Friday, May 26, 2017 on the outskirts of Iligan city in southern Philippines. Duterte told the troops fighting Muslim militants for the control of southern Marawi city to use martial law powers to defeat the Islamic State group-linked extremists. At left is Armed Forces chief and martial law administrator Gen. Eduardo Ano and at center is Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) © The Associated Press Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, addresses troops during his visit to the 2nd Mechanized Brigade Friday, May 26, 2017 on the outskirts of Iligan city in southern Philippines. Duterte told the troops fighting Muslim militants for the control of southern Marawi city to use martial law powers to defeat the Islamic State group-linked extremists. At left is Armed Forces chief and martial law administrator Gen. Eduardo Ano and at center is Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

ILIGAN, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte made a joke about rape as he urged soldiers to use the powers of martial law to take control of a besieged city in the southern Philippines.

In the speech Friday, Duterte said he will pay the consequences if any soldiers are accused of abuses.

He said: "I will go to jail for you. If you happen to have raped three women, I will own up to it."

On Tuesday, Duterte imposed 60 days of martial law in the southern Philippines as government forces battle militants in Marawi, a city of some 200,000 people.

Duterte is unapologetic about his manner of speech and liberally peppers casual statements with profanities.

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