“When a revered 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 have gone to the dregs.”
– Archbishop Socrates Villegas, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
I AM not really that shocked by Rodrigo Duterte. He is a product of this country. This is a land where the population has been rendered ignorant and stupid by the oligarchy, politicians and businessmen. And the docility of our people is really one for the Guinness Book of Records. I wonder, however, where this Rodrigo came from. He must have come from underground caves with the way he spouts profanities and curses with obvious delight; with the way he boasts about his killing habits and his outstanding immorality. This, Archbishop Bishop, characterizes as barbarism.
I am shocked by the above quoted comment of Archbishop Villegas. Why? I am wondering where the good Archbishop has been living all these years – in his convent, in complete isolation from Philippine society. This one really takes the cake.
If the good man of the Church has been living in the Philippines all these years, he should have known of the curse-loving Duterte since the guy has been mayor of Davao City for more than a decade. So if he knows him, why should he be shocked?
The curser and the hearers
Other than blaming Duterte alone for who he is, I am afraid that the Catholic Church in the Philippines also shares the blame for producing men like Duterte. Why? Duterte says he is Roman Catholic. So this man is an example of a Roman Catholic – spewing with vulgar, irreverent, obviously uneducated if not uncivilized statements! He went to the Ateneo de Davao and San Beda College – both Roman Catholic institutions. Yet, he boasts of having two wives and an additional two girl friends. He admits ordering the killing of criminals and his personally killing criminals himself.
Is this fellow Roman Catholic, Archbishop? Is this the type produced by your educational institutions? Is this the kind produced by Roman Catholic families? Is the Roman Catholic bishop who condones and defends Duterte’s behavior the kind produced by the Roman Catholic Church?
The ones who applauded the contemptible Duterte comment on the Pope must be Catholic in this Roman Catholic country. The congressmen, members of the Cabinet, senators, the customs officials, internal revenue officials, immigration officials, governors and mayors, and other top officials of this corrupt and graft-ridden government are Roman Catholics.
Are they not? You know, Archbishop Villegas, this is a rhetorical question. So where do we go from here? So what do you intend to do as a man of the Church other than being shocked and bringing this to public attention?
To compound the problem, this fellow Duterte has these statements to add for your shock or pleasure, whichever is your orientation:
“I will destroy the Church and the present status of so many priests and what they are doing.”
As a Roman Catholic, trained by public schools, from elementary to the University of the Philippines, and the Jesuits from our town to UP as well as by my Roman Catholic parents, this is my reply to you: Mr. Duterte stop hallucinating, read books. Great men and great forces have attempted to destroy the Church for centuries and they all miserably failed. Don’t tell me that a pygmy from Davao City can do it. You must be having a nightmare.
Then, this is followed by another reprehensible and ignorant statement from Mr. Duterte . He said: “We have God-given talents. The talent that God gave me is cussing. Instead of blaming me, blame God because He created me.” Where did you learn all these crap, Mr. Duterte? The Corleones know better than this. If we follow your statements logically, Mr. Duterte, to its final logical conclusion, we should all blame God for your ordering people killed, you personally killing helpless people and your scandalous adulterous behavior. Boy, oh boy, you really should be in the circus!
By the way, Mr. Duterte, God did not give you the talent of cussing, Satan did. And for your education as Roman Catholic, since you keep on insisting that you are one, read Thomas Aquinas, Saint Augustine, Saint Francis of Assisi, Thomas Merton and Gustavo Gutierrez. They will finally give you a good Roman Catholic education.
The Duterte option
Since he has the talent of killing criminals and a lot of people follow him, just like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, not everything is lost with Duterte. His option is not only redemptive but heroic. This in my assessment should be his formula – remember, this is an assessment, not a suggestion because I learned from Congressman Jess Dureza that Duterte is normally adverse to suggestions.
First, Duterte should withdraw his certificate of candidacy to stop embarrassing himself and the country, nationally and internationally. Second, he should start the revolution he has in mind – kill the criminals and stop graft and corruption. He should kill the top criminals in this country, if he has to stop criminality and graft and corruption. Third, Criminals he has to kill, as top in his agenda, if he must cleanse the country from graft and corruption – the President and former Presidents with criminal records; senators and former senators and congressmen and former congressmen involved in DAP, PDAP and other charges of graft and corruption; governors and mayor and former governors and mayors who are charged with graft and corruption; members of the Cabinet and former members of the Cabinet also charged with graft and corruption; and other government officials and officials in government controlled corporations as all well as other officials and employees in government and government controlled corporations who have charges of graft and corruption.
Fourth, kill all criminals convicted or charged with criminal offenses together with the priests and bishops that he wants to kill.
Fifth, after the work is done, retire – read books, forget hedonism, return to God, do act of contrition and penance and look at the sunset and the stars to wonder at the beauty of Creation, so the best and the brightest can organize a society worthy of our people.
If he can do all these, he can replace Rizal and all the other national heroes as the only national hero of the country with a bronze monument of his done by Castrillo at the Luneta, replacing Rizal and the others who have other monuments there.
Isn’t that great for the country? It is also great for Duterte!