President-elect Rodrigo Duterte maintained that his whistling at GMA News anchor and TV reporter Mariz Umali was not sexual in nature.
In a press conference late Wednesday, another female reporter put Duterte on the defensive after citing a law he signed in Davao City which clearly states that whistling is considered a form of sexual harassment, GMA News reported.
"You know, you don’t have any business stopping me. That is a freedom of expression," Duterte replied.
He then attempted to explain what constitutes sexual harassment while blatantly whistling at the reporter but ended up brushing off the question that got him cornered.
"Go to another question. You cannot stop anybody from whistling," he said. However, the incoming president was not quite done with his explanation after he tried once again to justify his actions.
"But I would say, who gave you the right to presume that I was whistling because I saw you? You have to be in a room, kaisa ka lang, a man and you, and he would whistle," he said.
He also denied whistling at Umali, saying that he whistled because he "was exasperated by the question."
Umali’s husband Raffy Tima, who is also a journalist, called out Duterte for whistling at his wife saying it was "wrong [on] so many levels."
Umali for her part said she wasn't expecting an apology from Duterte.
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Fhm.com.ph editors.