Duterte: Why celebrate 5 centuries of Christianity in PH?
NAGA CITY, Cebu —President Rodrigo Duterte minced no words in rejecting support for ceremonies that would mark the 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021, a year before Duterte steps down from office.
“Why would I give something for the celebration?” Duterte said in a speech during groundbreaking rites for the construction of houses for families displaced by a landslide here.
“When Magellan came here, he brought the cannon and the cross,” Duterte said. “But because the cross is there, the natives immediately embraced them,” he added.
“I am not a religious person but I am a friend of God,” he said.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said she understood Duterte’s feeling. “You know he is so Filipino,” said the governor.
She admitted, though, that Duterte’s statement against commemorating five centuries of Christianity in the Philippines had an impact on preparations.
“It’s just wait and see now,” Garcia said. She said the provincial government would help in whatever way it could.
“The President has spoken. We will take our cue from there,” said the governor.
2021 would mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of an exploration team led by Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan which led to the colonization of the Philippines by Spain./tsb
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