By Leslie Ann Aquino
Can that dialogue stop the President from hurling invectives, threats, and insults to the Catholic Church?
Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Public Affairs Committee, asked this question in reaction to the offer of Senate President Vicente Sotto III to act as a mediator between Duterte and Catholic Church leaders in a bid to stop their recurring word war.
The priest added that nobody can control what the President wants to say or do even if he dialogues everyday with his critics.
Secillano recalled that nothing of what was expected came out of their last dialogue.
“It may appear to be a noble initiative. But the last time it happened, nothing of what was expected came out of it,” he said.
“He continues to utter heresies and even threatened to have Catholic bishops killed,” Secillano added.
Last week, Duterte suggested to bystanders to rob and kill members of the clergy since the bishops are moneyed people.
He made a similar call earlier saying bishops are better off killed since they are useless anyway.
Secillano said it would be to the benefit of everyone if Duterte will just stop quarreling with the Church leaders and his other “perceived adversaries”.
“He is simply wasting his political capital quarreling with the Church. He should pay more attention responding to the pressing needs of the people so that he can prove his critics wrong,” he said.