The issue on comfort women with Japan “insofar as I’m concerned, tapos na ‘yan,” President Rodrigo Duterte said during his arrival press conference from Singapore on April 29.
The President made the statement when asked what is his position on the removal of comfort woman statue along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
He said he agrees with the removal. “Whose initiative was it? I really do not know. I don’t even know that it exists,” he added. “You can place it somewhere else. If you want to place in a private property, fine.”
“The Japanese has paid dearly for that. ‘Yung reparation started many years ago. So huwag na lang natin insultuhin. But if there is what you would call a memorial for an injustice committed at one time, it’s all right,” he said. “But do not use – it is not the policy of government to antagonize other nation.”
“But if is erected in a private property, fine. We will honor it. And the Japanese government and people would understand it that there is democracy here, freedom of expression is very important,” he explained.
“Japan has apologized to the Filipinos. And they have certainly made much more than – in terms of reparation,” he noted.
“Kaya nga ako, if you really want to know, meron diyan sa Tugbok. There’s a Japanese shrine there. I built it. And what does it say? To those Japanese who never went back, who did not make it back home, this is a memorial. Ganun rin. Just the same. It’s part of history,” he added.