Disrespecting our Catholic faith

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FRANCISCO S. TATAD

FRANCISCO S. TATAD

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is now on a state visit to three Middle Eastern Islamic countries—the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Qatar—while majority of the Filipino people and the rest of the Catholic world observe the penitential season known as Holy Week. There is nothing wrong about visiting these Arab countries. But he could not have chosen a more inappropriate date.

Indeed, he could not have done worse had he chosen to spend Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Sunday with his natural or official family sunning themselves on a sandy shore somewhere off the South China Sea or the Pacific, while most Filipino Catholics meditate on the suffering, death and resurrection of the crucified and risen Christ whom they profess to be the center of their faith.

For reasons far beyond me, the point seems completely lost on PDU30. I cannot imagine any of his hosts—Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa, or Qatari Emir Tanim bin Hamad al Thani—making a pilgrimage to a non-Islamic place during Ramadan while the Muslim world is doing its month-long religious fast. No serious Filipino Catholic therefore can possibly understand the outrageous timing of this Arab junket.

Not the Middle East, please
Some of my friends have suggested that DU30 has decided to spend the Holy Week in a place where the Holy Week is not formally observed, precisely because he does not believe in it. This is excessively cynical, and I refuse to accept it. I am aware of DU30’s casual attacks on the Catholic Church, the Pope, bishops and priests, but whether he means what he says or says things purely for political or mass media effect, the Filipino people, majority of whom are Catholic, have a right to demand that he respect their cultural sensibilities and their faith.


Supping with pagan monarchs during this holiest of Christian seasons, in places where that season is not recognized by the people and their religious leaders, is nothing less than an act of disrespect. DU30 may declare himself a non-believer or pagan who has convinced himself that the Catholic Church would disappear, as he recently said, “in 30 years,” but for as long as he is the President of Filipinos who are mostly Catholic, he cannot be publicly and officially associated with any act hostile to their faith.

The Philippines is one of the last truly Catholic Christian countries, after the tragic dechristianization of the Western world. It would be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the islands in the next four years. This is an irreplaceable treasure to many, if not most, Filipinos. As their President, DU30 has a duty to safeguard that wealth, whatever his religious belief or non-belief. Either he is part of the culture or he is not; he cannot lead the nation if he is not.

What Saudi owes our OFWs
Saudi Arabia employs the most number of Overseas Filipino Workers in the Middle East. While accompanying then-Vice President Jejomar C. Binay as presidential adviser on OFW concerns on some of his trips to the Middle East, I heard some of the King’s ministers say they would take it as an unfriendly act if the Philippine government prevented Filipinos from working in Saudi households. But the Saudi government has done nothing to allow Filipino Catholics working in the kingdom to exercise their right of religious worship. Only in Doha has Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, father of the current Emir, provided the Filipinos and Catholics from other countries a church where they could freely worship.

In spite of DU30’s mistake in spending Holy Week in these three Islamic countries, he could still make amends by asking King Salman in Riyadh to make it possible for Filipino Catholics to practice their faith in their places of work. This could help mitigate his unnecessary offense to Filipino Catholics. He could then come home and call on Filipino Catholics to help him unify the nation behind his government. We could then move as one regardless of our religious differences to confront the monumental problems that have piled up. Many of these problems uniquely belong to the President, but if we stand as one, we could lend him a helping hand wherever he needs it.

The brutal war on drugs has gone south; threats are mounting to drag DU30 to the International Criminal Court at the Hague; he is facing an impeachment complaint in the House of Representatives that could still prove treacherous; two of his closest Congress allies are quarrelling, together with, and on account of, their mistresses; some of his lackeys want to impeach the Ombudsman and the Vice President to give way to various political motives; his Cabinet is rent by bitter and insidious feuds about turf, contracts, loot, and illicit privilege; his personal interventions have resulted in the firing and shaming of a few officials, unfortunately before all the parties could be thoroughly investigated.

Wrong calls?
The wrong people have taken the rap, while the apparently guilty ones have remained more deeply entrenched. These include former National Irrigation Administrator Peter Lavina, former Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, and former Cabinet Undersecretary Maia Chiara Halmen Valdez, all of whom may have been fed to the lions without a fair process. I do not know any of these individuals, but based on my own inquiry, I have to ask whether they got a fair deal.

Lavina, for one, was accused of trying to benefit from a P5 billion irrigation project that ballooned into P14 billion long before he was appointed to his post. He appeared to be less sinning than sinned against. In fact, the persistent scuttlebutt is that he was trying to stop the alleged corruption, but was outsmarted by better positioned parties. Someone snitched on him, before he could put together the necessary paperwork on his adversaries.

In the case of Sueno, it appears that a member of his family got herself involved in some minor official transactions. These raised a question of propriety, but not enough to constitute corruption. What broke the camel’s back, sources close to the story said, was the P18.5 billion appropriation for “Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities” which Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. would like to see transferred from the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) to his communist-oriented quasi-political party, “Kilusang Pagbabago” (KP), for which no official funds are provided in the General Appropriations Act. Of this amount, the Department of Budget and Management has released P3.5 billion for 547 municipalities. But Sueno reportedly bucked the move, and got cooked for it.

With respect to Halmen, whom DU30 fired after she collided with National Food Administrator Jason Aquino on the question of extending the rice importation deadlines, her gravest offense, the same sources said, is that she is not only a native of Maribojoc, Bohol, where Evasco comes from, but above all the Cabinet Secretary’s personal protege. The fact that Evasco has become more powerful than any Cabinet member has made it difficult for other members of the DU30 government to be objective about him on many issues. But it seems wrong to fault a subordinate official just because she is a subordinate and for no other reason.

It is to be regretted that grave allegations of corruption now seem to confront the very government that has vowed to expose and punish the unpunished corruption of others; that supposedly incorruptible communist appointees, who were supposed to be models of honesty, dedication and efficiency, are now being linked to questionable activities involving large sums of money and fat contracts. This is truly tragic, but it is a reality DU30 and the nation must now face.

The best way for us to face it is by calling upon our strongest moral reserves as a people with a strong political resolve and an authentic Christian faith. And this we do not fritter away by doing the silliest things for the silliest reasons in the most important of all seasons in our Christian life.

fstatad@gmail.com

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55 Comments

  1. Borderline arrogant / capricious,

    Being a catholic majority country does not compel anyone to conform to it’s festivals and traditions.

    Last time I checked, not all people of the Philippines (and by some means, also the President) is not a catholic.

    Ito yung mga tipo ng criticisms na walang laman, MEMA lang kumbaga.

  2. Allan Mar Catapan on

    Mr. Tatad, what can you say to PNOY when the bodies of the FALLEN SAF 44 arrived in Manila? Where was he at the time when he was needed the most?

  3. those who are going against the policies and programs of the president are but hypocrites who cannot accept that we have now a leader who acts as one putting his words into action and not just sit somewhere else waiting for his wishes done by others.

    less than $1b in investments deals signed during his gulf visit plus more than a hundred distressed OFWs tagged along in coming home, not yet enough an accomplishment of a lazy president who does not respect tatad’s catholic faith?

    tsk tsk tsk tsk.

    mr. tatad, get out of your comfort zone and share your wealth! you cannot bring them to your grave!

  4. Then soldiers, nurses, call center agents, police, doctors, fire fighters, security guards, aides, vendors, hotel attendants and alike are all disrepecting the catholic faith like PDU30, who are all working to serve the people. It makes me laugh. :)

  5. Mike Schneider on

    more important to be a christian than a catholic. being an ex catholic converted to a bible believing christian, is an

    experience that i thank God for. the false teachings and traditions of roman catholicism are mentioned many times in Gods holy words, aka the bible.

  6. Mr. Tatad just demonstrate the modern day Pharisees. Holier than thou attitude! Even the Lord Jesus was critiqued by the Pharisees when he healed the sick on a Sabbath.

  7. Balewala na pagsabihan nyo si Du30 dahil hindi naman sya Kristiyano o kung may religion pa sya!! mga Komunista ay walang Diyos dahil balakid to sa pinaglalaban nila. Kahit anong paninira nya sa mga Katoliko eh hindi ito mabubuwag, kahit sabihin nila mga pang aabuso ng mga pari o kung ano pa eh hindi ito mabubuwag dahil ang religion lang ng katoliko ang bukod tangi religion na umaamin sa mga pagkakamali nya at nagsusumikap maging mabuti para mapalapit sa Diyos, hindi gaya ng ng kulto ni quibuloy, ni manalo, ni soriano at ng 100,000 iba’t ibang klase ng mga born again na PERA lang naman ang gusto lumapit sa kanila. Kung gusto nya mawala mga katoliko sa pilipinas eh ubusin nalang nya tayo. KUNG KAYA NYA!!

    • Totoo yan at hindi mawawala ang Catolico dahil sa pangako ng Diyos na gagabayan at poprotiktahan nya hanggang sa dulo ng mundo. Ang Catolico lang may ugnayan kay Kristo at mga pagtuturo ay pawang galing sa mga Apostles na tinanggasp nila kay Kristo.

  8. Mario B. Capangpangan on

    Mr. Tatad, it’s the Catholic Church who has been disrespecting the President, even during the campaign, and on to his Presidency. There’s not a single show of appreciation in what he has done in his 9 months in office, which is unprecedented. After the Davao bombing, there was not a single offer of prayer for the victims in Davao during Sunday masses in the entire Philippines! The CBCP just ignored it, as if nothing happened. Open your eyes and mind Mr. Tatad and reflect. The President is there on a working visit for the welfare of the millions of OFWs there. What could be more Christian than that sacrifice he is giving, working instead of spending time with his family. You are just a stupid yellowtard, who keeps on looking for issues against the President, even a non-issue like this one, you make it sound it’s a big mistake. No no no Sir, it’s not a disrespect to the Catholic Church! It’s the Catholic Church, including you with this article, who is disrespecting the President! And I hope you are reading the comments regarding your article every time you wake up in the morning! And see that a super majority strongly do not agree with your stupid opinion! I am a Catholic by the way, and I have lost respect for the priests and bishops who keep on engaging in politics! They are all a bunch of hypocrites in sheep’s clothing!

  9. Jesus was persecuted by the Pharisees because he healed a sick man on a Sabbath. And Jesus told them that God, his father, never stops working, so why must he?. This infuriated the Pharisees and wanted to kill Jesus, not only for breaking the Sabbath law but also for saying that God is his father as if, for them, claiming that he is co-equal with God. Faith is not always about upholding rituals and traditions. Even Catholic priests are hard at work during Holy Week. Did you not see the OFWs in the Middle East being consoled by his presence? God must have sent this president to heal His people. God knows how the past administrations have all but neglected them.

    • Salamat. Tonto lang kasi iyang matanda na iyan. HOPE and TRUST is the big and keyword that PRRD gave us. I am one of the attendees last night in Qatar. Mas chrsitiano pa ang ginawa ni tatay kesa sa kanila ngaun holy week.

  10. Crafty and conceited. This article is a click bait and does not make any sense. As if the President can stop holy week if he goes working.

    You only cared about your Catholic idealism?!

    Same reasons why a lot of people leaves this faith and follow a more sensible one.

  11. I could care less about what the present regime is doing, but I am just pissed at the insinuation that we Muslims are pagans.

  12. vagoneto rieles on

    To Mr. Tatad..respectfully:
    Heaven knows…President Duterte has many faults; but these State Visits to Muslim countries during the Holy Week is not one of them. We don’t have the inside track on the President’s schedule for this month or year, nor do we know that of the Kings, Emirs, (whatever) of these states. We simply do not know their itinerary. What we know for sure, however, is that Mr. Duterte is President of, (and for), all Filipinos…whether they are Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist; nor, whether they are in the Philippines, the Americas, or the Middle East.
    By the way, many of us are Christians who have deep feelings about the ‘Holy Week’…we get that. But, do we have to “wear our hearts on our sleeves”, and presume to be holier than others?

  13. It’s all in a day’s work Sir.

    If you’re an executive and you think for the welfare of everyone who works for you and those who benefits with your projects then the days and dates don’t matter. Regardless of the dates of the holidays President Duterte’s secretary or whoever arranged the schedule for his visit must have everything under consideration. There must be a lot of reasons why it was scheduled during the Holy Week. But whatever it is – it does not matter – as it should not be a judgement against Duterte. The overseas workers are happy that they have talked to him and he is doing the leg work and the negotiations necessary to get things better for Filipinos working in the middle east.

    What the majority think and feel are what matters most not what one person thinks that it is disrespectful to do the job because is it the Holy Week. Maybe we should start listening to the majority of Filipinos and start to know what they think and feel – not what the minority who are just few and thinks they are most entitled to think for everyone.

  14. Mr. Tatad, you’re like the “Trillanes” of Manila Times. Every time he opens his mouth, people react with disbelief at his audacious statements. Where you see malice in the timing of his visit to the Mideast countries, I’m sure thousands of Filipinos living and working there will only feel gratitude that they have a president personally going out of his way to look into their welfare, no matter the timing.

  15. This article is disrespectful of other people especially the poor OFWs and their families whose lives President Duterte is trying to uplift. But then again the Roman Catholic church has always been about the high and mighty while using the poor to justify their quest for more material possessions. The big mining companies for instance, have destroyed the farming and fishing livelihood of millions of Filipinos in the countryside. Even the drinking water of the poor villagers has been contaminated for several generations but the Roman Catholic church has big investments in the mining companies so they do not mind if the poor Filipinos are dying of hunger, thirst, and bullets of the miners’ goons. In the Philippines there are more and more Roman Catholics who are below the poverty line at the same time that the Roman Catholic church grows its riches by the hundred billions. Are you going to bribe your way to heaven with your billions cardinal?

  16. While I value your opinion, I respectfully disagree with it. I think this is just him being a workaholic president. Instead of taking a vacation, he chose to work in a place where he is not restricted by the season.

  17. charles river on

    Instead of feeling disrespected by the mass murder perpetrated by the state on the least of their fellow citizens, 76% of this so-called Catholic nation support this mad man of a president. Now, there should be something wrong if they feel disrespected by this trip to the Middle East.

  18. jose b taganahan on

    The President has long disrespected the Catholic Church when he cursed our much beloved Pope Francis and when he criticized the Filipino Bishops and priests in so many words.But the DDS do not care even if many of them are Catholics too.I am not a supporter of the President specially in his war on drugs that resulted in the killing of thousands of poor Filipino alleged drug pushers and users while big time Chinese drug lords who are the main source of shabu in the country are spared and continue to ply their trade in the whole country including Davao City and even inside the national penitentiary (NBP)

  19. i really dont think this is a disrespectful for the catholics para mo na ring sinabi na yung mga hindi katoliko tulad ng mga iglesia or church of god etc ay disrespectful by not celebrating a catholic event, not all christians are catholic you know

  20. My Dear Senator.

    Do you think There is still a “Catholic” Philippines? Look around you. Many people, celebrities included are trooping to resorts and beaches instead of the old Visita Iglesia way.
    Worse, go to the streets and each corner you will see people in groups partaking of Empe Lights..and at Good Friday at that.lol!

    Whose fault is it is attributable mainly to the Clergy themselves who failed to teach the Catholic Faith and instead teach politics, divisiveness and too much social activities for the poor (liberation theology?) to the detriment of the spiritual side.

    At any rate, your attack on the president is misplaced;
    1. DU30 is NOT a Catholic and therefore you cannot imposed on him Catholic practices.
    2. DU30 is Working for the People.To put food in the table of each Poor family How can you preach the Gospel to those who have empty stomachs? (its the economy stupid)
    3. GIve unto Caesar what is due to him…There is a separation of Church and State and therefore no one can imposed each ones belief into another.

    BTW, I salute you sir for being an Opus Dei.

  21. You Comment The President As It Seems He Is Obliged To Compulsary Respect The Catholic Administration
    That You Forgot The Separation CHURCH & STATE.. Your Talk Like An Idiot Corrupt Priest, Seems To Know Everything And Thinks You Can Do Better.. Pasakop Tayo Sa Mga Nangunguna Sa Atin..Puro Kahihiyan Iskandalo, Corruption Nangyayari Sa Catholic Church.. Not Just Here In The Philippines But Worldwide
    Its An Open Secret. You Can’t Fool Filipinos Nowadays, They Can Distinguish Who’s Doin’ Right, Talkin Right,
    Between A Corrupt Politician And An Honest Government Employee..The CATHOLIC PRIEST are not Doin’ The Right Thing..Go Out & Observe This Holy Week.. Its So Unholy !…Nasa Beach Nag Eenjoy, May Nag-Inuman.. Naka Shorts Nasa Loob Ng Simbahan.. Mountain Climbing… Eto Dapat Pinupuna Mo , Kit ! Thnks

  22. Do you have an Instagram? If you look at most of our local celebrities. Just have a look and you’ll see.

  23. Catholic this and that, religious sensibilities are the root cause of many wars and this article is insensitive to other faiths, remember Jesus Christ died for everyone including the Arabs

  24. Daniel B. Laurente on

    Color your Religious World Mr. Kit…The visit of the President has nothing to do with your perception. Don’t create religious conflict into the minds of morons.

  25. MR. Tatad,

    We can reflect on Christ’s death and suffering, anytime, anywhere and not just on Holy Week.
    It is our moment by moment walk with Him that matters.

  26. His Majesty, Sultan Qabus of Oman allows the practice of Christians and even donated a land for build ing the Cathedral. Yes there is a diocese of Arabia with Oman, UAE and Qatar churches. FYI sir Kit Tatad.

  27. What I know Paganism is been practicing not in Islam but in Catholic. I don’t really understand where all those hatred coming from. It seems that Mr. Tatad’s opinion against PU30 is totally irrelevant knowing our President is really working so hard to uplift the low morale of Filipino from North to South because of what Christian Catholic done since time of memorial. Catholic teaching breeds criminals and corruptions in our country where mostly government leaders and employees are Catholic members. Hmmp.

  28. Catholic this Catholic that Catholic this and that, religious sensibilities are the root cause of so many wars that makes your article insensitive to other faiths. Jesus Christ died for everyone including the Arabs

  29. I could not bash Mr. Tatad more, I believe the ones above will suffice for this opinion that reeks with so much hypocrisy. Instead I pray that Mr. Tatad will be guided by God’s wisdom and see things more differently. I pray that Tatay Digong’s bringing back the stranded and incarcerated OFW’s will be a success as this is an “act of mercy” which is a deed that befit the Holy Week that the Christian world celebrate. I pray that PRRD’s trip to the Middle East will be safe and successful one. I pray also for the safety of the men of PNP and AFP who at this moment are fighting lawless elements in Bohol. They sacrifice life and limbs for our safety and we can never ask for more. Have a peaceful Holy week everyone.

  30. pablo sanchez on

    and now a President working on a HOLY WEEK on a foreign land especially on the land off ARABS is no a BIG DEAL. you don’t find it as discrimination? while you are suggesting otherwise to relax on a sandy shore. how about criticizing those who are SM and BPO’s for letting their employees working on a holidays? you are just finding any stone to throw to the President because you cant admit that you are supporting a sore loser party of the liberals. what can you say about LASCANAS who retracts his statement and said that he is willing to die and now hiding in Singapore because he will be facing a perjury case and Trillanes flight on the next day while other LP members happened to be out of the country smells like they are cooking something bad to serve the countrymen after holy week.

  31. That which you don’t know you believe.

    Mr. Tatad should read the article next to this one written by Mr. Tiglao about the “authority” of religion.

    • Elpidio Salavador on

      that person you are referring to is the biggest liar i have seen so far. He brings down everyone connected to the previous administration. he uses every trick in the book to bash people.

  32. The timing is DELIBERATE. What can you EXPECT from a being of DUTERTE’S PERSONA to respect the CATHOLIC TRADITION in the observance of HOLY WEEK, when on many occasions in the past, he even PROUDLY confessed, that he does not believe in GOD.

  33. Tanging Diyos lamang ang makakapagpasya kung tama o Mali ang ginagawa ng pangulo ng Pilipinas.. Sya lamang at wla ng iba pa ang nakakahigit.
    As for Mr. Tatad, please donate your riches to the poor…

  34. The fact that the Philippines is one of the remaining Catholic Countries is actually a bad thing. Observe all these countries in the world, you will observe none of them are progressive.

  35. Arlene Rafiq on

    Mr. Tatad, you seem to be criticizing every move the president make. Is there any good that this president has done for the Filipinos, in your eyes? President Duterte, as he openly told everyone in all his speeches that he actually does not enjoy traveling but he has to do it. This president has done more in his four months of governance than any of the past presidents starting from Cory Aquino in their six years in office. Ever since the president called your attention regarding your “chismiss” type of reporting on his medical condition, you have not stopped criticizing him for the pettiest of reason. I also don’t like your views on religion..it’s the 21st century, already obsolete. Loving and respecting the Lord is what President Duterte is doing in this time of Lent observance. He went and did his job of helping the OFWs in the land of Islam and as he had done before will try to get the Arab nations to help the Philippines by investing in our country and ensuring the safety and support for our million OFWs. What can be more Christian than that? Lent is about sacrifices and that is exactly what this president is doing right now. In this Holy week observance, please do your bit of sacrifices as a Christian, stop criticizing but instead show understanding and empathy.

  36. Mr. Tatad should remember that Jesus healed the sick even on a Sabbath Day and criticized by the Pharisees.If the President works even on a holy day for the good of his country and people… will God punish him because he did not observe the said day?

  37. I like how you said most Catholics practice Holy Week. Yeah right. Also what makes you so sure that he is offending people. He’s working on a holiday. Let me repeat that. HE… THE PRESIDENT….. IS WORKING…… ON A HOLIDAY. And where are the other officials? Yes, relaxing with their families while the highest official is working his ass off. And he’s the oldest. At least give him that credit and stop attacking him while he’s out of the country.

  38. Understand that Mr. Tatad is a member of the ultra-rightist Opus Dei that is basically intolerant of anything that isn’t Roman Catholic of the traditionally conservative kind. The Opus Dei is the rich man’s version of a Catholic Club that so inward-looking and unmindful of the poor that comprise the bulk of Catholicism. The Opus Dei had its heyday under Pope John Paul II but with the ascent of a Jesuit Pope have been deservedly sidetracked. You can bet your sainted ass that the Opus Dei is having a collective heart attack over the preachings and reform work being done by the current Pope.

    Mr. Tatad is being petty and ridiculously indignant.

  39. Edgardo Rodriguez on

    “Disrespecting our Catholic Faith” by Kit Tatad. With regards to your opinion, with due respect, I beg to DISAGREE with you Sir. Yes, We should celebrate holy week with our catholic brothers and sisters with sacrifices & reflections just like what our Pres. Duterte’s state visits in the 3 arab countries, instead, of spending time with his family and give himself a break for “muni-muni” & reflections or a vacation grande he just wanted his holy week days to worked for US & visits our OFW’s there to HELP. Timing and the dates of the state visits were not important so long as youre intentions were good & honest and for the benefits of the Filipino people. Pls. Dont make these unnecessary opinion it doesnt help us anyway.

  40. Mr. Tatad please read about Islam and don’t tell pagan monarch. What are thinking of Islam. Islam is not paganism, intact our brand of Christianism specifically hurting ourselves for repentance per se is not sanction by any christian faith. You are writing rubbish about it. You are offending a country and people. Be responsible of what you write.

    • ganitong ganito ang mga romano ng ipako sa krus si kristo panay ang pangungutya at pagaalipusta sa kanya kahit anong gawin nyang mabuti e panay husga sa kanya hanggang sa ipako sa krus. tamang tama yang ginagawa mo isa ka ngang tunay na kristiyano sa ginagawa mo akmang akma talaga sa mahal na araw ang ginagawa mo… hayaan mo ipagdarasal ka na lang namin kasama ng mga kapatid nating muslim na di mo alam e nasasaktan sa mga pinagsususulat mo!!!!!

  41. I advise you to go on reflection and meditate this penitential holy week with your neighbor Mr.Tiglao and examine your Christian faith.Possibly you can go to Boracay where the rich catholics enjoy the summer and go on a wild party binge while real Christians agonized with Christ. The monarchs of the middle east are not pagans unlike the Holy Roman Catholic Empire who imposed Catholic beliefs to their subjects from pagan rituals.Mr. Tiglao is right, the evolution of our humanity is not derived from religion but our greed to dominate,grab territories ,exterminate the weak and will to survive, the eugenics of Darwinism.

  42. I highly respect Mr. Tatad’s opinion towards the President’s decision to go to Middle East during the Holy Week; however, I disagree with his assessment that the President’s state visit to these countries is an utter disrespect to the Catholic church and that he could have picked a better time to go there.

    The thing is, this is NOT about religion. The President went there for a sole reason – to strengthen our ties with the Middle East (although Muslim) countries (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar) and get in touch with the OFWs, whose some of them are being maltreated by their employers.

    As a matter of fact, I consider this as act as a “sacrifice” for Tatay Digong. He could have just relaxed, spent time with the family and observed Holy Week traditions together. But as the President, what else can he do when that call of duty arises?

    Speaking of call of duty, workers in the BPO industry like myself can feel that. We need to get the business going, even on a holidays. Just like Tatay Digong, we could have a choice to go on vacation or stay home and observe all Holy Week traditions such as Visita Iglesia, attending stations of the cross, Panaad, Siete Palabras, processions, and all. However, since I am working in a BPO industry, wherein we have to work even on a holidays, does this mean that I, along with the people within the industry, are disrespecting our Catholic faith? Did Mr. Tatad realize how hard it is to keep working during these times while our friends and family members go on vacay?

    This is NOT about the religion. This is about the call of duty. If Mr. Tatad thinks that our President, along with the BPO industry workers like myself, and those who are working in any industry wherein there’s no room for work stoppage, disrespects the Catholic faith, it is totally uncalled for.

  43. Everyone has the right to practice religion of whatever they chose to. The president wanted to work for the benefit of the Filipino OFW who cannot practice Catholic faith. Does that mean that a Muslim president is not acceptable to you even if that president is the best candidate for the job?

    • Jayson Velasco on

      Right on.

      Based on Tatad’s logic, OFW’s are disrespecting the Catholic faith.

      Well, the Metro Manila Philippine Catholic faith, rather.

      They can scrutinize and bring out faux ghosts stories of the past against Duterte but the more they do that, the more people realize this guy is out to do good and accept him for what he is and isn’t.

      The simple stratey I can give LP is to beat PRRD at his own game – play fair, serve better, drop corrupt colleagues.