Duterte 'lectured on Christian values' in meeting with Davao clergy

Subscribe Now December 05, 2015 at 08:07am

PRESIDENTIAL candidate Rodrigo R. Duterte met Friday with some leaders of the Catholic Church in Davao City, on the heels of a sudden controversy over his cursing Pope Francis during his Nov. 30 proclamation by the PDP-Laban.

Mr. Duterte, Davao City mayor and a latecomer in the 2016 presidential race, drew flak especially on social media for his rambling remarks, especially on Pope Francis’s visit in January early this year, which caused heavy traffic in Manila.

Mr. Duterte and his supporters later denied he was cursing the Pope, as aired on television and the internet, and clarified he was actually criticizing Manila’s planning during the papal visit.

It happens that Mr. Duterte endorsed last month the senatorial candidacy of Francis N. Tolentino, the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority at the time.

Mr. Tolentino had been a stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party until he was prompted to resign from the MMDA in October, following a controversy over a troupe of sexy dancers that accompanied his visit to an LP gathering.

Despite backtracking from his gaffe regarding the Pope, Mr. Duterte had also been by turns combative, daring the Catholic Church to a debate on its controversial history and also alleging sexual harassment by a Jesuit priest when he was a teenager. An inquirer.net report on Friday quotes Mr. Duterte as having identified that priest, now deceased.

Amid the furor over his remarks on Nov. 30, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, the president of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, was prompted to issue a statement that minced no words in its criticism of Mr. Duterte.

Mr. Villegas said Mr. Duterte’s freely-admitted womanizing and killings, as well as his profanities also constituted corruption -- the avowed target of his bid for the presidency, along with its other premise that is the Senate Electoral Tribunal’s vote upholding Ms. Poe as a natural-born citizen. In the event Ms. Poe is disqualified, this erases that premise behind Mr. Duterte’s presidential campaign.

But all seemed to end well by the end of a frantic week when Mr. Duterte met with the Catholic leadership in Davao City on Friday.

“I visited and talked with [Davao City] Archbishop Romulo [G.] Valles and [Auxiliary Bishop of Davao] George [B.] Rimando, together with Monsignor Paul Cuison and my Executive Assistant Bong Go,” Mr. Duterte said in his Facebook post.

“I was admonished and lectured on Christian [v]alues and in return, I told them that I would lessen my use of cuss words.”

Mr. Duterte said he would be “regulating” himself from hereon “and will donate P1,000 to Caritas Davao every time I would swear.”

Mr. Duterte’s also said he was “also planning to visit the Vatican soon,” presumably to meet a fellow traveler in the left-of-center sphere, Pope Francis.

“It was a good meeting and I would like to thank my friends in the Church for their time,” Mr. Duterte’s Facebook post said of his meeting with the Davao clergy.

Source: bworldonline.com

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