July 22, 2018, 11:34 pm
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Duterte renews tirade vs clergy

A DAY after promising a moratorium on statements against the Church, President Duterte is at it again.

In his speech at the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Summit 2018 in Pampanga yesterday, Duterte said his critics should not include God in their attacks against him.

The President also said he has the right to answer criticisms, even as he reminded everyone about the principle of separation of Church and State in the Constitution.

He said once criticized, he would have to respond.

“Do not use God as the platform of your criticisms in your attacks. Because when I answer, that God of yours will get it. I have the right to answer. There is a separation of powers. Why are you f*** the name of the Lord against me?” he said in his speech.

He reiterated his views about heaven and hell, along with his dare for anyone to take a “selfie” with God and show it to him. He said he would resign if anyone could do it.

The President reiterated that he does not believe that his God is stupid, and maintained that he is “a great believer of God and destiny.”

In a chance interview at the sidelines of the summit, Duterte said he was not attacking the Church nor did he mention the Catholic Church when he expressed his views about his beliefs during his speech.

“I’m not attacking the Church. What I said was if you use religion as a format, I was not referring to any religion,” he said, adding that he would not apologize for previous statements that he made in connection with his beliefs.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said based on Duterte’s narration of his meeting Monday with Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, he did most of the talking and Valles did most of the listening.

“He (Duterte) accepts the criticisms of ordinary people. But if possible, it should not come from the pulpit and the criticisms against him should not come from the Church because we have a separation of Church and State,” he said.

Roque said the one-on-one meeting between the Duterte and Valles had been cordial.

Roque said the CBCP would also form a counterpart of the committee the President formed earlier to talk with the members of the Church and other religious groups.
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