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President wants to set up ‘Iglesia ni Duterte’

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte yesterday told Filipinos not to believe Catholic priests and urged them to join the “Iglesia ni Duterte,” a religion he would establish where there is no prohibition and men are allowed to have five wives.

The Catholic Church has been critical of Duterte’s drug war, which is marked by summary killings and human rights violations.

Duterte blasted the Catholic Church anew after the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and other churches, including the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran, launched exhibits of photos of summary killings under Duterte’s bloody drug war.

In response, Duterte threw insults at the Church during the Christmas party of 2,000 barangay captains and councilors in his hometown Davao City yesterday.

“You say Duterte killer. You priests, you blame me for the death of thousands of drug addicts, even those who died in hospitals, you still blame me. But you are the ones who killed Christ,” Duterte said. 

The President also claimed that the Catholic Church has been so hypocritical of his drug war and yet it has not lifted a finger to help the more than four million drug addicts in the country despite collecting large amounts of money during mass.

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“They always shout in protest and yet they did not do anything against illegal drugs. They never bothered to help,” he said.

“There is something new these days. Iglesia ni Duterte naay bag-o. Walay bawal-bawal puwede lima ka asawa. Pero saw-a ang problema (Iglesia ni Duterte, where there is no prohibition, you can even have five wives. But make sure you are responsible for your problems).

“The Church is not giving anything even if they collect so much. My statement is full of sarcasm because they (priests) have been criticizing me. They are hypocrites,” he added.

Duterte also said that he believes there is a God and he believes in Allah, but he does not believe in religion, particularly the Catholic Church because it is sowing fear among its faithful about the existence of heaven and hell. 

“Do not believe it. That is what that religion is all about, they are instilling fear that you will go to hell if you are a sinner. But you will only know if there is indeed a hell if you die,” the President said. 

Duterte told barangay officials to wait for him to die because he would come back and tell them if there is really heaven or hell.

“Be careful about religion, it is about gold. It is about gold. They have not done anything. Where is their God and their grace? There is the hypocrisy of it all,” he said.

“Body of Christ sa inyong igit (in your poop),” the President added.

Duterte also likened the Catholic Church to the United States under President Barack Obama, the United Nations and the Commission on Human Rights that have all called his attention to the rising number of summary killings in the drug war.

“America did not do anything for the four million Filipino addicts. And they even scold me,” he added.

The President claimed he knows the Catholic Church so well since he studied at Cor Jesu College in Digos City, Davao del Sur and at the Ateneo de Davao University, where he was taught about mortal sin and venial sin. 

“Catholic is a sordid religion. It is about time to show you its history. There were popes who sired a child and even had sex with his child, that was Pope Leo,” the President claimed.

“Why? Is there a God who is evil who makes hell?” he further asked. 

He also urged Filipinos not to believe in the priests blessing the dead with holy water. He noted that the faithful even pay for the rites as well as for the holy water. 

“Basbas basbas kayo diyan. Eh, galing lang naman yang tubig niyo sa Davao City Water District (You keep on blessing. Yet the water you use is from Davao City Water District),” he added.

Duterte: No blessing, no hero’s burial for me

Duterte also said that he does not want his remains to be blessed by a priest.

He wants his body to be cremated within 24 hours after his death just like what was done to the remains of his mother Soledad in 2012.

“Cremate me within 24 hours. And there should be no blessing of holy water. I do not hold on to anything. If I go, I go,” he said.

“Spare me the drama of all those ceremonies. I do not like it, nakokornihan ako (I find it corny),” he added.

And despite being president, Duterte said he does not want to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, where Duterte allowed dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried despite public outrage over the hero’s burial for one whose regime committed plunder and atrocities.

“Do not bury me there at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, sa kanila na lang ’yan (give it to them),” Duterte said.

Millions in illegal drugs seized

As Duterte continues to defend the drug war, the police seized millions worth of illegal drugs.

In Bukidnon, police seized P20 million worth of suspected shabu loaded in a car intercepted at a checkpoint on Tuesday afternoon.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief Roel Obusan identified the suspects from Maguindanao as Nahar Apam, 19, of Awang Datu Odin, Sinsuat; Sohud Salik, 26, of Maitong, Kabuntalan; Tho Tha, 25, of Datu Piang; and Johari Akmad, 27, of Talayan.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), on the other hand, intercepted 11 kilos of marijuana at the Port of Dumangas in Iloilo on Dec. 23.

In a statement yesterday, the PCG said the illegal drugs worth about P110,000 were seized from two passengers about to board a vessel to Bacolod by operatives from its K-9 unit and sub-station.

A report to the PCG headquarters showed that the contraband was discovered after the two suspects identified as Tonichi Ami and Abdullah Ishaq refused to submit their backpacks for inspection before boarding the ship.

“The two suspects ran away outside the port area and were later intercepted hiding in nearby houses,” the PCG said.

The seized marijuana was turned over to the local police for proper disposition, the PCG added. – With Edu Punay, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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