Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte earned nothing but contempt for his statement disrespecting the Pope during his proclamation as the standard-bearer of the PDP-Laban on Tuesday.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was particularly incensed when Duterte cursed Pope Francis when he recounted how he got stuck in traffic when the Holy Father visited Manila early this year.
The mayor claimed that it took him five hours to get to the airport because some roads were closed for the papal visit.
“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 [I asked why? They said the roads are closed. I asked who’s coming? They said it’s the Pope. I wanted to call and tell him [expletive], Go home Pope, don’t come visiting here],” Duterte said, drawing laughter from his audience.
Short of saying that the Davao City mayor does not deserve to lead the country, CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Tuesday said vulgarity is also a form of corruption.
He noted that to be a good leader, one should lead by example, a trait that he doubts Duterte possessed.
“Vulgarity is corruption. When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people. When a revered and loved 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,” Villegas said.
He also accused Duterte of being morally corrupt.
Villegas explained that corruption is not limited to stealing public money.
“Corruption, like a monster, is a devil with many faces. Killing people is corruption. Killing is a crime and a sin whether it is done by criminals or public officials no matter what the intention. Adultery is corruption. It makes married love cheap and uses people for pleasure. Adultery corrupts family, it destroys children and victimizes the weak,” the prelate said.
Villegas was obviously referring to Duterte’s public admission that he has two wives and two girlfriends and his repeated boasts that criminals are liquidated in Davao City.
“Is this the leadership by example that Mayor Duterte excites in us? Is this the leadership by example that makes a public official deserving of the title “Honorable”? the prelate further said.
“What the world desperately needs now is leadership by example. We have so many leaders in office and many more aspiring to sit in office but are they examples of good citizenship? If the leaders we choose are to be leaders for national progress,they must be visionaries AND exemplary,” Villegas pointed out in a pastoral statement.
Former CBCP president and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz also strongly criticized Duterte, saying the mayor has gone beyond what is moral and righteous.
Cruz said killing and adultery are against the teachings of the Church.