- Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte says he is no longer a Catholic
- He lashed against bishops who allegedly campaigned against him
- He clarified, however, that he is in good terms with the bishop of Davao
Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte lashed against “very proud” bishops who allegedly campaigned against him; adding that he is no longer a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
The tough-talking mayor of Davao City, who is set to become the 16th President of the Philippines, joked instead about his own “church”.
“Di na ako miyembro ng Katoliko. May bago ako. Lipat na lang kayo dito sa Iglesia ni Duterte. [I am no longer a member of the Catholic. I have something new. Transfer instead here at the Church of Duterte],” he told ABS-CBN News.
Duterte claims that at least three bishops campaigned against him; with criticism for his alleged immorality.
“Ang hindi kasi nakuha ng Simbahan, napakabobo naman kasi itong Katoliko. Tapos ngayon, nagsabi pa, hindi daw sila nagkampanya. Eh ‘yung tatlong bishop na nagsalita against me? [What the Church doesn’t get, because these Catholics are stupid. And now, they say, they did not campaign. So what about the three bishops who spoke against me?]” he said.
Although not naming any specific candidate, just days before the elections, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) wrote an open letter to the public to reject “morally reprehensible” candidates who do not follow the teachings of the Church.
Duterte clarified, however, that he had no conflict with the local bishop of Davao, whom he even visited after declaring his candidacy.
“Wala kami away dito ni ano [Archbishop Romulo Geolina Valles]. Ito lang mga obispo na sobrang yabang, akala mo, marunong. Sabi niya, [We do not have any quarrel with Valles. Only these bishops who are very proud, who think they are smart. He said,] we the church will criticize immorality. How about you? Why have you not criticized yourself or ask pardon from the Filipino people?” he said.
Earlier, Duterte called the Church as the “most hypocritical institution in the country.”
He had also been under fire for cursing at Pope Francis, whose visit to the Philippines in January 2015 caused traffic in parts of Metro Manila. Duterte had since made a formal apology to the Pope for his remarks.