MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday lambasted the Catholic Church once again in a speech during the celebration of the 120-year presence of the Baptist Churches in the Philippines.
After tackling the government dispute with water concessionaires, Duterte then focused his attention on railing against the Catholic Church, which has criticized his administration’s brutal war on drugs.
Duterte, before ending his speech, recalled how he won the 2016 presidential elections in stunning fashion even as he received criticisms for cursing Pope Francis.
In a speech to announce his presidential bid, Duterte cursed at Pope Francis for the traffic jams in Metro Manila during the Pontiff’s visit to the mainly Catholic country in January 2015.
Catholic Church leaders condemned Duterte’s comments then but, like his other controversial remarks during the 2016 campaign, they had little impact on his popularity.
“When the results of the elections came, I got seven, six million over the next (candidate). And so maybe it’s good to bullshit the bishops. It might make you win. Take it from my experience,” Duterte said, drawing laughter from the audience.
The President also said that he could be the first politician to successfully wage war against the Catholic Church – the religion of at least eight out of 10 Filipinos.
He also pointed out how the church and its members supposedly turned “silent” amid his repeated tirades.
“You’d notice that they’re no longer complaining even if I said bullshit ‘yang…they don’t respond anymore. That is how to win the war against the Catholic Church. All you have to say is ‘Putangina ninyo’, panalo ka na,” Duterte said which drew an even louder cheer from his audience.
After the President’s lengthy, curse-laden speech, House Minority Leader Benny Abante, a Baptist pastor, and the rest of the audience prayed for Duterte and the government.
Since taking power in 2016, Duterte has repeatedly hurled accusations against the Catholic Church–most of which are unfounded.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.