SAYING he had heard the voice of God, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night promised to stop cussing in his speeches, after weeks of expletive-laden rants against critics of his anti-drug war.
Speaking to reporters shortly after giving an arrival speech at the Davao International Airport, Duterte said God himself spoke to him while on his way home from a three-day official visit to Japan.
“I was looking at the skies while I was coming over here and I just…Everybody was asleep, snoring. But a voice said that, you know, ‘If you don’t stop epithets, I will bring this plane down now,’” the President said.
“And I said, ‘Who is this?’ So, of course, it’s God. Okay. So, I promise God to – not to express slang, cuss words and everything. So you guys hear me right … a promise to God is a promise to the Filipino people,” he added.
His pronouncement was greeted with applause, which he waved away, seemingly unsure that would live up to the promise.
“Don’t clap too much because I might fail,” the President said.
Asked later if he would no longer curse when talking about the United States, the European Union, and even his arch-critic Sen. Leila de Lima, Duterte said that would depend on the timing.
The President said he had not always been foul-mouthed.
“There is always a timing, a time for everything, a time to be foul-mouthed. I do not want anybody reading my mind because hindi na ako makadiskarte e [I don’t want to telegraph my punches],” Duterte said.
“But it’s all calibrated, it’s all about timing,” he added.