Atty. Salvador Panelo, spokesman of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte says that the latter did not want to offend Mariz Umali, a reporter for GMA-7, when he whistled at her during a press conference on Tuesday.
The incoming presidential spokesperson said that Duterte’s whistling means that the Davao City mayor loves her and that Umali should take it as a compliment.
"Mayor Duterte is a very kind, playful individual. Pag siya'y pumito, ibig sabihin he's fond of you, ibig sabihin mahal ka niya, kaya ka binibiro. Hindi po isang pambabastos yun. On the contrary, the receiver of that should be complimented," Panelo said.
(Mayor Duterte is a very kind, playful individual. If he whistle’s, it means he’s fond of you. It means he loves you and that is why he is joking around. It is not meant to be offensive. On the contrary, the receiver of that should be complimented.)
"The fact alone na nagtawanan yung mga tao eh ibig sabihin nun that expression was meant to be a joke and also as a compliment," Panelo added.
(The fact alone that people are laughing means that the expression was meant to be a joke and also a compliment.)
Raffy Tima, husband of Umali and also a GMA-7 reporter, was also offended with what the incoming president did.
Tima said that catcalling his wife is very wrong in so many levels and for it to come from someone who is regarded as the most powerful person in the country cannot be defined by logic.
"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," Tima said.
"I do hope none of them were journalists because if they were, shame on them. When you see or hear anyone say something wrong, you do not encourage it, you do the opposite. Or in that particular instance, at least, they should have kept quiet and in their silence gave the message that what the mayor did was wrong," he said.
He added that there are jokes that are funny and should be laughed about, but to disrespect a woman is not one of those jokes.