Manila - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was criticised on Friday for sending a "very dangerous and distorted message" that women are raped because they are beautiful.
Duterte, who has been slammed for joking about rape in the past, was defending his claims that he had eradicated crime in his southern home city of Davao during a speech in the central province of Cebu on Thursday.
"They said that Davao had many rape cases," he said.
"For as long as there are many beautiful women, there are plenty of rape cases as well."
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the statement should not be taken seriously since Duterte was known to make jokes.