MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte again launched into a tirade against priests, studded with violent language and threats.
As he recalled the sexual abuses by certain priests, Duterte said clergymen should be shot.
"Putangina kayong pari dapat nga kayo ang pagbabarilin eh...Putangina mamatay na kayong lahat, wala akong pakialam," blasted Duterte on Thursday, March 14, during the National Peace and Order Council meeting in Davao City.
(You sons of bitches, you priests, you should be shot...You sons of bitches, you all should die, I don't care.)
"Wala akong pakialam kung mamatay kayong lahat, maluwang pa ang ating cemetery. Tangina, making me feel guilty about my – kayo ang nauna," he also said.
(I don't care if you all die, our cemeteries are still spacious. Sons of bitches, making me feel guilty about my – you started it.)
The President then spoke of sexual crimes by priests, speaking of a supposed case when a priest "fingered" a girl. He recalled the sexual harassment of nuns by priests, one of the controversies taken up during a recent summit called by Pope Francis.
Even the Pope is not above suspicion, as far as Duterte is concerned.
"Baka si Pope, mayroon ding tinatago (Maybe the Pope is also hiding something)," Duterte said.
He attacked even the intelligence of priests, saying their IQs are "deficient."
After targeting priests, his rant shifted to Catholics in general. He told Catholics to "shut up."
"Magdahan-dahan kayong mga Katoliko (You Catholics better slow down). Better shut up or else. Extrajudicial killing? Prove it. But killing? Yes, destroy my country and I will kill you," Duterte said.
The President's verbal onslaught against clergymen prefaced his reading out of his government's "narco list." His audience at the time were police, military, and local government officials.
The Catholic Church is one of the staunchest critics of Duterte's drug war, even as Duterte lambasts bishops, priests, and others who oppose his policies.
Earlier this month, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas released a video casting doubt on Duterte ahead of the May 13 elections.
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.