‘Don’t take leader literally’

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. AFP

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte should be taken seriously, but not literally, his spokesman said yesterday, after the leader drew criticism for saying he once ordered soldiers to shoot female Maoist insurgents in the genitals. Mr Roque said the context of Mr Duterte’s February 7 remarks was that he was angry communist insurgents had betrayed his trust and forced a peace process to collapse. Mr Duterte was recalling an order he said he had given to troops when he was Davao mayor. “Tell the soldiers. There’s a new order coming from mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina.”

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