President Rodrigo Duterte turned his ire on the Catholic Church Monday, calling members of the clergy “sons of whores” and accusing Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla of keeping a mistress just like him.
In his speech during his visit at Camp Abendan in Zamboanga City, Duterte said he was “appalled” by the priests and bishops who complain about the number of persons killed in the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.
He stressed that “paranoia” led to the killing of drug suspects by the police.
“It’s paranoia, invariably they are harmed, they will kill you, kaya kung sabihin mo na abuso ko lang to (so if you say I am abusive) why should I kill my countrymen?” Duterte said.
He then claimed that Capalla also had an illicit affair.
“Kaya ito si Capalla, bishop namin doon, pareho man kami may mga kabit din. Sila obispo, ako mayor. Mga pari putang-ina, bwisit, mga pamoral moral (This Capalla, our bishop, we’re just the same we both have mistresses. They’re bishops, I was a mayor. Those priests, sons of whores, they keep preaching morality),” he said.
“Why wouldn’t I cuss? We have a big problem! If I stop [the anti-drug campaign], the next generation will be lost,” the President added.
Duterte’s statement came after Capalla expressed concern over the rising death toll in the government’s war on drugs and urged the President to “listen to the people.”
“Everybody that I know is worried about it. From my point of view, I think it’s the question of violence, getting it into a spiral and it seems intensifying. Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it and right is right even if nobody is doing it,” said Capalla, who is also a co-convenor of the Bishops-Ulama conference, a group that promotes cooperation between Muslims and Christians.
“I would like to ask him to listen to the people, to the poor people who are also suffering, he is the one who loves them and will do everything for them, they have something to say about what’s happening, not just to the experts,” he said.
But Duterte said he does not believe that the police tolerates extrajudicial killings.
“I lose two policemen a day all over the country. And I take time to go there, not only to condole with the family but also to show my solidarity with you because the expectation of the people is really that we can stop this problem on time. Ladies and gentlemen, may I tell you now, this is an ongoing and recurring problem which will never be stopped by anyone. We can only slow it down,” he said.
Duterte has lashed out at the Catholic Church in the past, calling it as the “most hypocritical institution.” CATHERINE S. VALENTE