Asia

Philippines president jokes about rape in speech to soldiers

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.