VIDEO: Duterte finally speaks on religion. He is a theist

    MANILA, Philippines – Even before the National Elections had started, Presumptive President of the Philippines, Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, has already been receiving negative reactions from various religious groups’ leaders and their members in the country. Many believed, that the straight-forward-speaking Duterte is an atheist due to his “uncontrollable” actions and “foul” mouth. Yesterday, May 19th, the incoming president has finally spoken with regards to the issue.

    Duterte finally speaks on religion. He is a theist
    President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. Screengrab from Youtube video.
    In a recent interview conducted by GMA-7 veteran anchor Jessica Soho in her 'State of the Nation' newscast, Duterte cleared that he believes in God: "For the record, I believe in God, but I do not believe in religions. Period.”

    The incoming president also commented on the hypocrisy of some clergies in the issue of the separation of church and state.

    Watch the video.

    Last year, when Pope Francis visited the country, the whole country was in awe. The humble catholic church leader has finally landed his feet on one of the few catholic nations in the world. The Pope chose to ride an open mobile service instead of an armoured one and gladly roamed the major streets of Metro Manila to give his blessings to the Filipino people. On the same day, Davao City Mayor Digong Duterte was on his way to a meeting. Expectedly, he was stuck in a massive traffic jam and came too late for his appointment.

    In one of the media interviews, Digong shared his experience on being caught in a carmageddon. Out of nowhere, he cussed the Pope live on TV and told him to fly back to Vatican. The Phiippine bishops and priests reacted on Duterte’s comment on their head. "I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame. My countryman has gone to the dregs," Bishop Socrates Villegas said.

    Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
    Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. Photo Credit: mb.com.ph
    It really drew a lot of negative criticisms which his political rivals used and took advantage of with an intention to pull him down. But later on, Duterte had shifted his gears and apologized for what he had said. It was not the Pope who he was cursing at, it was the government rather for failing to manage the traffic properly. Early this year, Pope Francis accepted his sincere apology and gave his blessing on Duterte on his candidacy through a letter. However, the CBCP cleared that the Pope is not endorsing the forgiven Mayor.

    The official letter addressed to Duterte from Vatican Rome.
    The official letter addressed to Duterte from Vatican Rome. Photo Credit: sunstar.com.ph
    Aside from his unethical words towards the Pope, Duterte’s other ill-actions wheter personal or political have been brought up: cursing, womanizing and extra-judicial killings are just some of the many gloomy demeanors that were thrown at the Mayor.

    Just like any other religions in the country, the catholic church is also responsible in reminding its faithful members in choosing the right candidates who will lead our country. Few weeks before the Elections, various homilies by bishops and priests have been quoted many netizens and shared on social media platforms stating that people should not vote for immoral candidates which obviously pertained to Duterte and other corrupt officials. The Mayor knew that the preachings were aimed at him and he fired back by saying: “Listen to your bishops. Don’t vote for me or else you’ll go to hell.”

    The Presumptive President hasn’t taken his official presidential oath and yet there’s already an issue going on between him and the catholic church. Many political experts say that the issue will get bigger as Duterte plan’s to revive the death penalty for heinous criminals which the catholic church is totally against at including the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

    --Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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