Duterte: Whistling is not a sexual thing
DAVAO CITY – President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said whistling to a woman is not necessarily a sexual move.
In a late press conference at the presidential guest house here, Duterte said whistling may just mean he wants to catch the attention of a person or he just wants to joke with a man.
But when he catcalled at GMA-7 reporter Mariz Umali during his press conference Tuesday night, Duterte said his catcalling does not have any sexual undertones.
“I was exasperated by the question. Whistling is not a sexual thing,” Duterte said to the female reporter who asked.
Then he whistled again.
Duterte told the female reporter she should not assume that she is the subject of a man’s catcalling.
Duterte said when he catcalled Umali, he did not cajole her in a sexual tone.
“If you’re going to do that, if you will whistle in public, you are speculating whether you are the one. It needs to be a cajole. ‘Mare ang ganda mo ha. There has to be something like inviting the sexual undertone,” Duterte said.
He said no one can stop him from whistling because that’s part of his freedom of expression.
“You can’t stop me, that’s my freedom of expression. Unless you go overboard and start harassing the woman,” Duterte said.
Davao city under Duterte’s leadership in 1997 passed an ordinance called Women Development Code, which aims to legislate gender sensitivity toward women.
Davao city ordinance No. 5004 penalizes sexual harassment on women, which includes “Kissing or embracing someone against her will” and “Cursing, whistling or calling a woman in public with words having dirty connotations or implications which tend to ridicule, humiliate or embarrass the woman such as ‘puta’, ‘boring,’ ‘peste’, etc.”
Duterte has been known to kissing women supporters during his campaign rallies outside Davao.
The same ordinance said some of these forms of sexual harassment are punishable with imprisonment under Republic Act 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 and the Revised Penal Code under Acts of Lasciviousness.
Duterte was asked about his possible violation of the ordinance. But he just brushed aside the question.
“If you are a beautiful woman at sabihin mo, whistling is directed at the woman. And when I whistle, what am I doing, am I suggesting sexual intercourse? Would you say that would be the meaning? That I would like to fondle you?” Duterte said.
“I’m expressing something, you overextend the dimensions of it,” he added.
During the Duterte’s first press conference as president-elect at the presidential guest house in Davao city Tuesday night, Umali went up to the microphone to ask a question after Duterte presented his Cabinet to the media.
As Umali asked her question, Duterte leered at the reporter, whistled and serenaded her on live television.
Raffy Tima, Umali’s husband, called out Duterte on Facebook to point out that catcalling his wife is “wrong in so many levels.”
Tima in his post, which has gone viral, said he expected that from Mayor Duterte, but that the latter should have known better as president elect to respect women.
“I expected that from a Mayor Duterte. I know his reputation well enough not to be shocked by it, but that does not make it right. For someone who espouses leadership by example, catcalling anyone in a press conference with all cameras trained on him defies logic. Then again, that’s Mayor Duterte,” Tima said.
Tima also lamented those who laughed with Duterte and egged on the president-elect, adding that “some jokes are funny and should be laughed at… but disrespecting women is definitely not one of them.” TVJ
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