President Rodrigo Duterte is not yet over with his tirades against the Catholic Church.
In his speech at the 11th Ambassadors’ Tour Philippine reception in Davao City on Friday night, Duterte again lambasted priests and bishops in the Philippines by accusing them of womanizing and other excesses.
He even encouraged his audience composed of Filipino-American delegates to read the book “Altar of Secrets” by the late journalist Aries Rufo, published in 2013.
The book tackled corruption, sexual abuses and other controversies that rocked the Philippine Catholic Church.
“Have you read the ‘Altar of Secrets’? There’s a book, ‘Altar of Secrets.’ Ayaw ko nang magsalita. [I don’t want to talk anymore]. It’s online. Basahin mo, bukas hindi ka na Katoliko, maniwala ka [Read it, tomorrow you’re no longer Catholic, believe me],” Duterte said.
Church officials have been vocal in condemning the extrajudicial killings linked to the administration’s crackdown on the narcotics trade.
According to Duterte, he and Catholic clergy have the same weakness—womanizing.
“P****g i*a kayong mga obispo kayo, mga y**a ka, kala mo sino kayo. Pareho lang trabaho natin. Karami ninyong babae,” he said.
But unlike Church leaders, he is not corrupt, the President claimed.
“This I can promise you. Maski ganito lang ako, medyo bastos ganon tapos [Even if I’m uncouth], sometimes outright vulgarity…I can guarantee you. There will be no corruption. There will be no abuses in government,” Duterte said.
“If I have committed a wrong before your eyes, your estimation, that’s your problem. I have my problems to solve. If you think that you are the guardians of all the souls of this universe, go ahead. But do it in the proper way,” he added.
Malacañang has said Duterte was not “anti-Catholic” but was merely dispirited at the “adversarial” response of the Catholic Church to his deadly anti-drug war.
“I’m giving an opinion that what the President is really expecting is not an adversarial approach. The President is quite open to listening to other opinions but perhaps, it seemed to him that the comment was coming from a [morally upright organization], even though we all have shortcomings,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a radio interview in January.