Archbishop hits Duterte: Corruption is a devil with many faces
The Catholics Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) fired back on Tuesday at Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte for cursing Pope Francis.
During his proclamation as the presidential bet of Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on Monday, Duterte hit the Catholic Church, saying it should institute reforms “to prevent it from being extinct.”
Duterte said the Philippines should control its population contrary to the stand of the CBCP.
The tough-talking mayor even cursed Pope Francis for the heavy traffic he experienced during his visit in the country in January.
He said it took him five hours to get to the airport due to traffic congestion.
“Sabi ko, ‘Bakit?’ Sabi sarado na [ang daan]. Sabi ko, ‘Sinong darating?’ Sabi si Pope. Gusto kong tawagan, ‘Pope, p—— ka, umuwi ka na. ‘Wag ka nang bumisita dito,” he said in jest.
Some people in the audience laughed after he delivers this “joke.”
But this did not sit well with CBCP President Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
“When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laugh, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame. My countrymen has gone to the dregs,” Villegas said in a statement.
He said that the next leaders of the country must be leaders by example, which he said the “world desperately needs now.”
“If the leaders we choose are to be leaders for national progress they must be visionaries and exemplary,” he said.
“Is this the leadership by example that Mayor Duterte excites in us? Is this the leadership by example that makes a public official deserving of the title “Honorable”? I grieve for my country,” he added.
He said “vulgarity” is a form of corruption.
“Vulgarity is corruption. When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people,” the church official said.
Duterte has said that he would fight corruption once he gets elected as the next Philippine president.
While Villegas agreed that “corruption is indeed a great scourge of Philippine politics,” he said that corruption was not only through “stealing from public funds.”
“Corruption, like a monster, is a devil with many faces,” he said.
He then enumerated things, which may be the other face of corruption.
“Killing people is corruption. Killing is a crime and a sin whether it is done by criminals or public officials no matter what the intention,” he said.
Duterte has been open in saying that he would not think twice in killing criminals if elected as president.
In a no-holds-barred speech before 10,000 people on Sunday night in Taguig City, the 70-year-old mayor opened up about his personal life, saying he does not only have two wives but of two girlfriends, as well.
He admitted that when he was younger, he would spend the whole night with his girlfriends, but since he had grown older, he could spend only “short time.”
Responding to his statement, Villegas said adultery is also corruption.
“Adultery is corruption. It makes married love cheap and uses people for pleasure. Adultery corrupts the family; it destroys children and victimizes the weak,” he said.