MANILA -- Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said flashing the dirty finger is freedom of expression.
"A dirty finger is always done by a person who is angry. It's a protected gesture. Alam mo pinagastos pa ako ni [Etta] Rosales to explain, when all the while maraming abugado sa opisina niya could have said it, nagbasa ng libro that is covered by the freedom of expression," Duterte said in an interview.
"The only person who can decide if I was right or wrong would be the Senate. You are not supposed to interfere there. Ang magsabi na masama yung ginawa ko ang senate, at magboto pa sila," Duterte added.
He flashed the dirty finger and cussed at critics of his daughter Sara following her widely-publicized punching of a trial court sheriff in 2011.
The controversial politician also justified his standard of safety in Davao City, adding that he only wants to ensure the safety of his constituents.
"So mamili kayong Pilipino, dito I do not want people in Davao City going around in fear. I want the criminals going around scared to death because they will really die. This is the standard of Davao City. Gusto ko 'yang asawa ng pulis pati 'yung anak niyang maganda. Mag-ikot ka ng gabi beginning 1 until 4 anywhere in Davao. And if your wife goes home unmolested, not disturbed anything at all. Pati anak mo, safe at maligaya. Then that is the standard for Davao City. Do not try it, you do it sa pulis. Hindi ko sinasabi na you try it, just do it, wala akong pakialam kung anong gawin mo diyan basta you do it. That is the standard because I pay you a salary," Duterte explained.
Duterte also accused former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) commissioner Etta Rosales of violating his rights, after the latter criticized him.
"Even the dirty finger, Etta Rosales, you violated my rights. Okay I'll file a case against you for asking me why I exercise my rights, my freedom of expression. You are trying to curtail it by asking, demanding me to explain. Takutin mo ako makulong? Susmaryosep. Tapos na ako sa buhay. Tapos na mga anak ko, mayor na nga yung isa, yung isa vice mayor. I am ready for what you can really dish out."
He also blasted Rosales for allegedly being part of the pork barrel scam.
"Kaya itong Etta the last time I heard you talking about EDSA spirit, you explain to the public, to the Filipino people, why you make cash advances. How many projects were given to you that were implemented by Napoles, kasi nandoon yung pangalan mo sa listahan niya, cash advances. Hindi ka na nahiya niyan?"
Duterte, likewise, explained the warning he issued against criminals in Davao City.
"Sinabi ko lang you criminals you will not go out to the city alive. What's wrong with that? If I do not threaten them, papasukin ko lang sila at patayin ko na lang? Wala ng gunfight-gunfight. O warningan mo na hindi pumasok dito. Eh di walang problema. It's just a warning to criminals. It's not a warning to the law abiding citizens. It is not a warning against the NPAs. It's addressed to the criminals. What is wrong with that? Sabi nila it creates fear. Then ask the residents of Davao City. Pumunta ka dito magtanong ka at maligaya ba sila sa buhay nila. Kayo lang ang nag-create ng fear in your mind and expressed it publicly," he added. -- report from Hernel Tocmo, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao