By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte recently declared that he was not using the platform of government to attack the Church, and averred that bishops should also not use the pulpit to hit the state.
“There is what you would call a separation of Church and state,” the President said during his recent visit to Bulacan in his latest outburst against the Church which has been critical of his brutal drug war.
“Hindi kami nag-aatake ng pari using the platform of government. Ang pari hindi dapat gamitin itong pulpito niya na mag-atake sa amin sa gobyerno [We do not attack the priests using the platform of government. The priests should also not use the pulpit to attack us in government],” he said.
The President said if clergymen wanted to criticize the government, they should get down from pulpit to voice their sentiment.
“Dapat ang pari pumunta doon sa labas, dito. “Ako’y pari. Ako’y Pilipino at ako’y nagrereklamo [The priest step down from the pulpit and say ‘I am a priest, I am a Filipino and I have this complaint],” he added.
Duterte expressed dismay that some priests have hurled attacks against him using the pulpit, including one wishing his death.
“Kapag nag-misa ka… Sabihin mo, p***** i**** pari magsabi, “Mamatay sana si Duterte.’ What kind of a s*** is that? [When hold mass, the priests says son of a b*tch, ‘Duterte must die’],” he said.
Annoyed by the attacks from some priests, the President hit back and called on drug addicts to rob and kill the rich bishops.
He said these priests ask around for contributions from the rich who apparently think they could get a free pass to heaven.
“Kaya gumanti ako, sabi ko: ‘Hoy kayong mga durugista, ‘pag nakita ninyo ‘yung mga bishop diyan, papasyal-pasyal maraming pera ‘yan. Nag-iikot ‘yan araw-araw pahingi diyan sa mga mayaman..Akala nila malibre sila papuntang langit kung malapit ka sa pari. It ain’t that way [So I took my revenge and said, ‘Hey you drug addicts, if you see the bishops roaming around, they have lots of money asking around for donations from the rich. They think they can have a free pass to heaven if they are close to the priests. It ain’t that way],” he said.
“Holdupin ninyo ‘yung obispo ninyo, maraming pera ‘yan. Pagka lumaban, patayin mo. Maglibing tayo ng obispo. Maniwala ka diyan mga ‘yan. Puro may asawa [Rob the bishops, they have lots of money. If they resist, kill them. We will bury the bishops. You believe them? They have wives],” he added.
Duterte blasted the church anew for being the most hypocritical institution in the country, citing abuses committed by some clerygmen.
He mentioned to the crowd about the sexual abuse he endured at the hands of priests when he was studying in Ateneo high school in Davao.
In recent months, the President has stepped up attacks against the Catholic Church critical of the administration’s war on illegal drugs that claimed the lives of thousands of suspects.
Duterte drew outrage when he called the god of his critics as stupid and questioned some church doctrines including the story of creation and the Holy Trinity. But Duterte claimed that the Church leaders had no authority to criticize him amid the sexual abuse scandals plaguing the institution.