Duterte breaks ’moratorium’ on attacks against Church
Updated 9:10 p.m.
President Rodrigo Duterte rehashes his criticisms about God and the Church on Tuesday, breaking his vow not to make any anti-Church rhetoric.
In his speech in Clark, Pampanga, the President slammed those who used God to criticize him.
“There is a separation of power between any church and state. Huwag mong isali ang Diyos mo doon sa platform of your criticism on your attack because when I answer, kapag sinali mo sa issue, sinali mo ang Diyos, P*t*ng *na, patayin kita,” he said.
“I have tried to answer. There is a separation of powers, why are you f***ing the name of the Lord against me?” he added.
On Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte agreed to a “moratorium” or a suspension of statements about the Church.
“PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) agreed to a moratorium on statements about the Church after the meeting,” Roque said, referring to the president’s meeting with Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Monday.
However, the president broke his promise a day after he made this vow.
In his speech in Pampanga on Tuesday, he said, “Ang Diyos ko, forgiving, ang Diyos ko, hindi bastos. Ang Diyos ko, hindi nagmumura. As a matter of fact, ang Diyos ko, walang sinasabi kundi, except the 10 commandments.”
“And then when you use God to say that I’d go to hell, you know my God never created hell because if he created hell, he must be stupid God. My God is not stupid to create man just to burn him in hell. Hindi ako naniniwala ng ganon,” he added. “I do not believe in heaven because if I do, only a fraction of you in this crowd will ever enter in heaven,” he said.
In an ambush interview after his speech, Duterte denied he was again attacking the Church as he admitted that he agreed to Valles not to attack the Church.
“I’m not not attacking the Church. What I said that if you use religion as a format and I was not referring to any religion, kung makita mo wala akong binanggit na relihiyon,” he told reporters.
“Kasi marami naman diyan, merong Christian evangelist, merong gusto akong kausapin, dahil diyan I cannot mention their name, but they wanted to see me, but if it’s a matter of me asking forgiveness, forget it,” he added. “As a matter of principle, I will not. And I can burn in hell if it is true.”
He said he was just being “spontaneous” during his speech.
Bishops call for prayers, fasting
Duterte has earned his ire of the Catholic Church and religious groups for calling God “stupid” and questioning the creation theory in the Bible.
Philippine Catholic bishops have called for fasting and prayers after the president called God “stupid” and questioned God’s existence in remarks that set the president on a “collision course” with Asia’s largest Catholic church.
Valles called for prayers to invoke “God’s mercy and justice on those who have blasphemed God’s holy name, those who slander and bear false witness and those who commit murder or justify murder as a means for fighting criminality.”
The archbishop asked Filipino Catholics to participate in three days of fasting, prayer and almsgiving starting on July 17. /vvp
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