Duterte on wolf-whistling issue: “You cannot stop anybody from whistling”

MANILA, Philippines - President-elect Rodrigo Duterte believes that there is nothing wrong with his act of whistling at GMA News reporter Mariz Umali in a press conference on Tuesday, May 31 at Davao City.

Duterte whistles and sings to journalist Mariz Umali
Duterte whistles and sings to journalist Mariz Umali during a press conference on May 31 at Davao City. PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook/Mariz Umali
The outspoken mayor of Davao City was widely criticized after whistling and singing to Umali in response to her question, “How will you deal with cabinet secretaries who are non-performing?”. Duterte’s reply behavior flak from netizens particularly from Umali’s husband, Raffy Tima, who wrote a lengthy Facebook post titled “Catcalling My Wife Is Wrong In So Many Levels.”

In attempt to discuss the issue during a press briefing on Thursday, June 2 at Davao City, Rappler reporter Pia Ranada Robles read a portion of Davao City’s Women Development Code Ordinance that tags “cursing, whistling, or calling a woman in public with words having dirty connotations or implications” as a form of sexual harassment.

While Robles was talking, Duterte interrupted her with a whistle and said: “You know, you don’t have any business stopping me. That is a freedom of expression.”

“Sir, your own law says that there is a limit to expression,” Pia replied.

Duterte explained that whistling will only be a form of sexual harassment if “you go overboard and start to harass the woman”.

The tough talking mayor said while whistling at the end of his statement: “As a matter of fact, when I first saw you, I said.”

After emphasizing that Robles can’t stop anybody from whistling, Duterte asked the reporter who gave her the right to presume that he was whistling because he saw her.

“So, Sir, you’re saying you were not whistling at Mariz during the time she asked her question?” Robles asked.

“Of course not. That is, ano, objective, or is it subjective? Subjective?” Duterte replied.

Robles then pointed out that Duterte replied to Umali’s question with a whistle.

Duterte then defended himself and said: “Whistling is not a sexual thing.”

In response to Duterte’s statement, Robles said: “Sir, for you it might not be sexual, but to others it might. So the world does not revolve around your definition.”

Read the full post below.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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