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My mother’s not a whore–David

When President Duterte started calling him names last year, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David always chose to turn the other cheek, saying only that “We should pray for the President; he is a very sick man.”

But the bishop found that even prayers could not salve the hurt caused by the President’s intemperate words that, this time, were directed not at him but at his late mother.

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David on Wednesday posted a photograph of his mother, Bienvenida Siongco David, on his Facebook account and defended the woman whom the President called a whore during a campaign rally the night before in Malabon City.

His mother, David wrote, was a survivor of the Japanese occupation and a widow who raised 13 children who went on to become professionals and “productive citizens of this country.”

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Church pulpit

Said David on Facebook:  “She is the woman the President of our country [had] called a whore in his speech yesterday. He called me a son of a whore for allegedly attacking him from the Church pulpit—which I have never ever done.”

“The pulpit is never for that purpose. Unless, of course, he thinks that calling for an end to violence and extrajudicial killing in my diocese is tantamount to attacking him,” he added.

Blocked on Facebook

David’s post had more than 7,000 shares and 11,000 likes, which might have led to his Facebook account being reported by detractors.

David said he lost access to his account for about two hours on Thursday after Facebook administrators accused him of “phishing.”

“I was blocked, [though] I got some advice on how to revive [my account],” he said.

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At the campaign rally in Malabon, the President called on David to “step out of his pulpit” and face him not as a member of the clergy but as a Filipino citizen.

Referring to his attacks on the Catholic Church, Mr. Duterte said: “David keeps complaining. [The clergy] started it. They started the quarrel. A priest during a Mass was saying ‘We hope Duterte dies.’ What kind of religion is that? You wish death or ill [when] you’re a priest?”

But David ignored his remarks and chose to defend his mother.

“Although she was consistently at the top of her class from grade school to college, she was not able to finish a degree herself because of the war. Instead of going back to school after the war, she did everything she could to make sure my father would finish his law degree and be able to practice his legal profession,” he said.

Meager salary

His mother, David said, “had to do all she could to make both ends meet, given my father’s meager salary as a public servant.

“She succeeded in raising one sociologist, one architect-urban planner, two lawyers, one civil engineer, one real estate broker, one banker, one medical technologist, one critical care nurse, one bishop, one nutritionist, one dentist and one economist,” the bishop said, adding that his mother was given the “Gintong Ina” award in the late 1980s.

“Our family does not expect anyone in government to give her recognition for her immense contribution in nation-building. But we do not expect anyone either, to insult her memory and call her a whore. She does not deserve it,” he said.

David, an outspoken critic of the government’s brutal war on drugs, added that he noticed Malabon Vice Mayor Jeannie Sandoval laughing with the crowd when the President ridiculed his mother.

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TAGS: bishop, David, duterte, Mother, news, whore
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