Malacañang calls for ‘ceasefire’ between Duterte, church leaders
Malacañang on Tuesday called for a “ceasefire” between President Rodrigo Duterte and some Catholic Church leaders critical of the chief executive.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the call days before the scheduled meeting of Duterte and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Romulo Valles in Malacañang.
“I think it’s always bilateral. If there is going to be a cessation of hostile language, I think it has to be from both institutions,” Roque said in a Palace briefing.
Duterte had earlier ranted about a “stupid God” and questioned the creation theory in the Bible, which earned the ire of the Catholic Church and other religious groups.
Some church officials slammed Duterte for his remarks, prompting the President to form a committee to hold a dialogue with the leaders of the Catholic Church and other religious groups.
“So I think it’s not just the President who should be told that as we hold this dialogue, that perhaps there should be a ceasefire, it should also be told to some leading Church leaders as well,” Roque said.
Despite the call for a ceasefire, Roque said Duterte would not hesitate to hit back if he gets criticized.
“Pag nagtuligsa po sila, eh asahan nila sasagot ang Presidente. Ganoon lang po iyon, hindi naman pupuwede na sitting duck ang Presidente (If they criticize the President, expect him to answer. The President should not be a ‘sitting duck’),” he said. /ee
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.