President Rodrigo Duterte shrugged off actress’ Agot Isidro's recent social media comment that branded him "a psychopath."
In a speech, Duterte said Isidro had the constitutional right to free expression.
“May nagalit isang artista sa akin na ano daw ako, ‘psychopath.’ I leave her to her Constitutional right to free expression. She should enjoy that,” Duterte said.
Duterte's remarks came after Isidro received hate messages on social media following her scathing criticism of Duterte's foreign policy.
Isidro in a Facebook post criticized Duterte for daring the United Nations, European Union, and the United States to withdraw their aid from the Philippines amid criticism in his war on drugs.
“Unang-una, walang umaaway sa iyo. As a matter of fact, ikaw ang nang-aaway. Pangalawa, yung bansa Kung saan ka inuluklok ng 16 million out of 100+ million people ay Third World. Kung makapagsalita ka parang superpower and pilipinas eh. At excuse me, ayaw namin magutom. Mag-isa ka na Lang. wag kang mandamay. Hindi na nga nakakain ang nakararami, gugutumin mo pa lalo. Pangatlo, may kilala along psychiatrist. Patingin ka. Hindi ka bipolar. You are a psychopath,” she wrote on Facebook.
Congressmen belonging to the "Magnificent 7" minority bloc on Tuesday rushed to Isidro's defense.
Reps. Edcel Lagman of Albay, Tom Villarin of Akbayan, and Teddy Baguilat Jr of Ifugao all agreed that Isidro was merely exercising her freedom of expression when she lashed out at Duterte, calling him a "psychopath."
"We should all be like Agot Isidro who calls out the emperor with new clothes... I think what Agot Isidro did is a call out to Filipinos na if the emperor has no clothes, eh sabihin natin iyon," said Villarin.
Villarin urged the public to stop the "climate of being numb" and refarin from "lapping up to the government."
"I think we should have more of Agot Isidro in our midst," Villarin said.
Lagman shared the same sentiment about the incident.
"We should encourage more people to speak out. So let us encourage people like Agot," said Lagman.
Lagman said the public should respect Isidro if that was how she "measured" the President and policies.
"That's part of freedom of expression. Government should be able to respect the unalienable right of the people to criticize the very officials they have installed in power," the lawmaker said.
Baguilat said while he won't "go through such lengths" as calling Duterte a psychopath, he would still have to agree with Isidro's premises.
"I'd call him erratic," said the Ifugao congressman. —NB, GMA News