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Duterte camp: Mayor should’ve clarified point in ‘cursing’ Pope

/ 06:01 PM December 01, 2015
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Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

The camp of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday admitted that he should have clarified his point in his strongly worded speech, after drawing flak for cursing Pope Francis over the traffic congestion that the latter’s visit in January caused.

“Mayor Rody Duterte expressed sadness and regret that the part of his speech mentioning Pope Francis in relation to the monstrous traffic gridlock in January came across as being disrespectful to the person of His Holiness Pope Francis. It was farthest from his mind and was never his intention,” the mayor’s camp said in a statement posted on the official “Rody Duterte” Facebook page.

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READ: Duterte denies slur on Pope: I was cursing gov’t incompetence | Duterte loves, respects Pope Francis; statement taken out of context–Cayetano

Duterte’s camp reiterated that the cuss word was not directed to the head of the Roman Catholic Church, but a result of his anger over the supposed incompetence of the government in handling traffic in the metropolis.

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“He acknowledges that he should have explained better his point on the matter of that monstrous traffic gridlock. His strong statement on the incompetence of those in government to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila was his expression of anger borne out of the helplessness of the millions of commuters suffering from this daily gridlock,” the statement read.

“It was never intended to be directed to the person of His Holiness Pope Francis, who has his utmost respect. It was out of exasperation at the inutility of the functionaries in government not only during that historic visit of Pope Francis but at the daily sufferings of all citizens in Metro Manila up to this moment,” it added.

READ: Duterte ‘curses’ Pope Francis; Lacierda fires back | Duterte shocks, awes

The camp of the presidential aspirant added that Duterte “fully understands” the reaction of those who were not pleased with his remarks.

During his proclamation as the presidential bet of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on Monday, the tough-talking mayor took a swipe at the Church and cursed the Pope in jest for the supposed inconvenience his visit brought to commuters and motorists.

“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,’” Duterte said. RC

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TAGS: Elections 2016, Pope Francis, Rodrigo Duterte
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