Duterte says he will skip Mass during the Balangiga bells turnover
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed Friday that he would attend the turnover rites for the Balangiga bells in Eastern Samar on Saturday but would not attend the Mass.
“I’d like to order the protocol now. Ngayon lang pumasok sa isip ko (It has crossed my mind only now). There’s going to be a High Mass. I will not be there. I will just float along the coastal shores of Samar,” he said in a speech in during the unveiling of the marker of Mella Hotel in Las Piñas.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said Duterte would not attend the turnover ceremony for the bells, citing that the President needs to attend “pressing matters of governance that require his utmost and immediate attention.”
But Panelo said the President changed his schedule hours later and said he would now lead the turnover rites.
The bells arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday, but Duterte skipped the handover ceremony.
The US Army took the Balangiga bells during the Philippine-American War in 1901 that left thousands of Filipinos killed.
Duterte first made the call for the United States to bring the bells back to Balangiga Church in Eastern Samar during his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) in 2017.
Attack vs Church
In his speech, Duterte again attacked the Catholic Church, which has been critical of his brutal war against drugs and criminality.
He cited once more the book “Altar Secrets,” which exposes the scandals of the priests and bishops.
“Altar Secrets”. It is there. Pati ‘yung orphanage nila, mga anak ng pari. Ito dito si [Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro] Bacani ang number one,” he said.
He also encouraged the public to read “The Popes.”
“It’s a totally…from the Inquisition down to torture down to Lucrezia Borgia. Nanganak siya ng…anak siya ng pope and they had incest. At ‘yung incestuous child nila became eventually a pope,” he said.
“That is the scandal which they cannot deny because that is history. Kaya kung gusto ninyo, we can have a public debate in Luneta. Line up all of your orators and public speakers na mahusay,” he added.
He reiterated his claim that most Catholic priests are gays.
“Eighty-five percent of them are homosexual. Alam ninyo ‘yan. Iyong ibang naiwan na 15, ayun, nagkakalat sa mundo<‘ he said.
He earlier claimed 90 percent of priests are gays then said there are 80 percent of them./ee
READ: Duterte on gay priests
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