Filipino presidential candidate apologizes over rape comment

MANILA, Philippines (AP) " The front-runner in the Philippine presidential campaign has apologized for a remark he made about wanting to rape an Australian missionary who was assaulted and killed by prisoners in 1989.

The comment by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of southern Davao city sparked a storm of criticism ahead of the May 9 election.

Duterte issued an apology Tuesday, saying "sometimes my mouth can get the better of me." He added that he had "no intention of disrespecting our women."

Duterte said at a campaign stop last week that the victim, one of five missionaries killed during a hostage-taking at a prison, was "so beautiful," and as mayor he "should have been the first" to rape her.

Rival candidates, the Australian ambassador and women's groups slammed Duterte for the remark.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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