Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his second news conference after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was leading by a wide margin in unofficial tallies but still refuses to claim victory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Bullit Marquez/AP
Front-running presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his second news conference after voting in a polling precinct at Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School, Matina district, his hometown in Davao city in southern Philippines Monday, May 9, 2016. Duterte was leading by a wide margin in unofficial tallies but still refuses to claim victory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
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This combination image of two photographs taken on September 5, 2016 shows, at left, US President Barack Obama speaking during a press conference following the conclusion of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, and at right, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaking during a press conference in Davao City, the Philippines, prior to his departure for Laos to attend the ASEAN summit. 

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This combination image of two photographs taken on September 5, 2016 shows, at left, US President Barack Obama speaking during a press conference following the conclusion of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, and at right, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaking during a press conference in Davao City, the Philippines, prior to his departure for Laos to attend the ASEAN summit. US President Barack Obama on September 5 called a planned meeting with Rodrigo Duterte into question after the Philippine leader launched a foul-mouthed tirade against him. / AFP / Saul LOEB AND MANMAN DEJETO (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB,MANMAN DEJETO/AFP/Getty Images)
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Story highlights

The Philippines is one of the world's more dangerous countries for journalists

Duterte won the election by a landslide despite series of controversial comments

CNN —  

The Philippines’ controversial president-elect has picked a new fight.

Speaking at a press conference to unveil his new cabinet Tuesday, Rodrigo Duterte said journalists killed on the job in the Philippines were often corrupt.

“Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch,” Duterte said. “Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong,” he added.

His comments were a response to a question about how to protect press freedom after a crime reporter was shot dead in Manila on Friday.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) was quick to blast the leader for his “appalling” comments.

“Nothing justifies the murder of journalists,” chair Ryan Rosuaro said in a statement.

The Philippines is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent press freedom organization, says 77 journalists have died in Philippines since 1992.

The NUJP claims 176 of their colleagues have been murdered since 1986.

Duterte’s outrageous comments are the latest in a bombastic campaign to fight corruption and threaten criminals. He’s previously declared that he will be a “dictator” against evil, and vowed to step down in six months if he failed to fulfill his promise to stamp out corruption.