Duterte's 'apology' creates confusion

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Presidential candidate Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte

Iloilo City (CNN Philippines) — There has been a lot of discussion about presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte's supposed apology for a controversial rape "joke" he made last week. The sexist remark has earned him a lot of flak that might just kill his campaign.

The situation has become confusing, with people trying to figure out if the 71-year-old mayor really apologized for his remarks.

Related: Amid confusion, Duterte clarifies: I am not apologizing for rape remark

On Monday night (April 18) in Bacolod City, Duterte said he's not apologizing for anything he said.

PDP Laban, his party, released a statement on Tuesday attributed to Duterte. The statement says he's sorry for his recent remarks in a campaign rally.

But the mayor said he knows nothing about this statement.

Also read: No intention of disrespecting women and rape victims — Duterte apology statement

When asked about it, Duterte didn't sound like he was actually apologetic.

He said he's sorry that the rape and killing of hostages in 1989 happened, but he didn't apologize for any remark he made.

He said, while cursing, "Wag niyo nang ipilit dahil hindi talaga ako mag-apologize."

[Translation: Don't insist on it because I really won't apologize.]

He said his remarks were expressions made in the heat of anger, and if people got the wrong message, then he's sorry for that.

Duterte's running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said the first interview the mayor gave to address this issue last Sunday has been misinterpreted by many people.

Cayetano said that as far as he's concerned, the mayor is not sorry about how he dealt with the hostage crisis and how he treated the criminals who raped and killed the hostages.

On Monday, Duterte even defended his remark, saying this is how people who didn't grow up well-off speak. He explained that what he said is a derogatory statement towards the criminals.

Duterte said he's pleased that despite calls from different groups not to vote for him, he's still doing well in the surveys.

Related: Duterte, Marcos maintain sole leads in latest Pulse Asia survey

Cayetano said that as far as their internal surveys are concerned, the mayor is pulling away from his rivals.

With his rising popularity, more attacks are being heaped on Duterte. There are reports that people are digging up his annulment papers.

The mayor, who has been in power for 22 years, refused to comment on the matter. He also wouldn't say anything about the surprise revelation of his daughter, Inday Sara, who said she's a rape victim.

Duterte said she hasn't told him anything about it.

Also read: I am a rape victim, says Duterte's daughter