Duterte identifies priest who molested him

The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — It involved mere touching and it contributed to his sexual awakening, but the memory of being fondled against his wish when he was a high school freshman is vivid enough for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to remember the identity of the sexual molester.

“Ang pari na yan ay si Father Paul Falvey,” Duterte told reporters here Thursday night, pointing to a priest of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) in the 1950s. 

Duterte was quick to point out that Falvey died many years ago and that he had already forgiven the priest. 

The mayor identified the priest after some sectors challenged him to name the priest he said molested him during his younger years at the Ateneo de Davao.  

Duterte stressed that it was more of fondling that the late priest did to him.

“Kami naman hinipo lang (We were just fondled),” the mayor said. 

Duterte also stressed that he did not intend to file any complaint as suggested by the ADDU management as well as the Society of Jesus congregation in the country.

“Ayaw ko yong sinasabi nilang (I don’t like what they’re saying) I will file a complaint. No, I wouldn’t file any complaint,” Duterte said. 

The mayor confessed that what the priest did to him awakened his sexuality.

Asked why he did not file a complaint at the time against Falvey, Duterte said. “I was young then and I was afraid of what will happen.”

“It was a case of fondling — you know what — which he did during confession, that’s how we lost our innocence… It happened during our generation, two years ahead of us and two years following us,” Duterte said, explaining that the priest also molested other high school students at the Ateneo at the time. 

“It was a sort of sexual awakening for each of us,” Duterte said. “Each and everyone of us have our own sexual awakening.”

Duterte said that while he and his batchmates did not file any case against Falvey, the priest was reportedly made to pay millions in the United States where he was later assigned. 

“It cost him (Falvey) about P25 million because other victims filed a case, you know it in America,” the mayor said. 

“We realized quite early that ganun talaga ang buhay. Paano magreklamo? Takot kami (such is life. How could we complain? We were scared),” Duterte added, stressing that fear got the better of any intent to complain, especially since they were freshmen and might get “whacked.”  

Duterte also shrugged off suggestions that he file charges against the Church, because that would be like hauling Catholics to court. 

“Priests have no money, and what if they say they are only human? They have no business, no mall, no transportation. And they say they will ask for a second collection from us to pay Duterte. Who will pay for damages but the people? Even I, if I go to church there, I will also pay.” he said.  

The mayor likewise said he has high regard for Archbishop Oscar Cruz who came out as one of his strongest critics after he cussed Pope Francis early this week.

“He is very frank and he is very brutal in his language. I respect him because it was not him. It was an actionable wrong and I was only 14, 16. I am now 70 years old. How do you suppose I should file any criminal case? It has prescribed,” Duterte said. 

Duterte also explained that he has not changed religion. 

“I am a member of His flock. I have not changed religion, still a Christian, and I have this deep and abiding faith in God. I only have one God,” he added.


Duterte also lambasted priests that he said are hypocrites.

“There are priests who ask for anything from politicians and then there are also priests who have families,” Duterte said. 

The ADDU has told Duterte to put into writing the alleged sexual abuse he went through at the hands of a Jesuit priest while he was a high school student at the school. 

“Allegations about sexual abuse in the past, involving a Jesuit priest, would need to be made in writing to the provincial superior of the Society of Jesus for proper investigation and appropriate response according to the protocols of the Society of Jesus for these cases,” the ADDU said in a statement on Wednesday.

The university also pointed out how it was saddened by the allegations of Duterte. 

”We hold Mayor Duterte in our prayers,” the ADDU statement further said. 

Duterte was once enrolled at the ADDU before he transferred to the Holy Cross of Digos College in Digos City, Davao del Sur after being expelled twice from previous schools, including one involving alleged misconduct. 

Duterte later graduated high school at Holy Cross of Digos College.

Duterte spent his elementary years at the Sta. Ana Elementary School in Davao City, where he graduated in 1956.

Duterte finished his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Manila, where he graduated in 1968. He also obtained a law degree from San Beda College Manila in 1972. 


A PDP-Laban source said a pastoral letter allegedly prepared by a top church official close to the Aquino administration is set to be circulated and read in Catholic churches nationwide to allegedly signal the start of a “demolition job” to disqualify Duterte from the presidential elections.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines lamented Duterte’s cussing Pope Francis in a speech during the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban proclamation of the mayor as the party’s presidential candidate.

“The pastoral letter planned to be read in parishes nationwide is part of a demolition job, aside from a disqualification case to be filed at the Commission on Elections… part of the well orchestrated move to remove Duterte from the presidential race,” a source said.

The source said Duterte has explained and apologized for the “anti-pope” statement he made during his proclamation as PDP-Laban presidential bet and that his frustration was not aimed at Pope Francis but against the worsening traffic and incompetent government officials.

He said operators were quick to grab the opportunity and began a media blitz inciting the Catholic faithful to reject Duterte.

The source said the top church official is allegedly spearheading the move to disseminate the pastoral letter soon.

“We expect the demolition job to intensify in the coming days and we are prepared to counter such move,” he said.

He said the disqualification case filed before the Comelec was also a preemptive move against Duterte’s certificate of candidacy (COC).

Ruben Castor yesterday filed a petition before the Comelec to declare as null and void the COC of Martin Diño.

Diño, initially the presidential bet of PDP-Laban, later withdrew his COC for president to make way for his substitute Duterte.

Substituting for Diño, Duterte had filed his own COC for president.

Castor said Duterte, however, “should not substitute for Diño who filed a COC that is void, legally nonexistent and without legal effect; hence, substitution shall likewise be void.”

Diño reportedly filed a COC for mayor of Pasay City, and not for president.

Meanwhile, Duterte said that he would not appoint any politician to his Cabinet should he become president. 

“I will not get politicians. I will get young men who will really work,” Duterte said. 

However, Duterte refused to divulge any name that he might include in his Cabinet. 

“I really want the young ones who will really work and produce results,” the mayor said.

Duterte said he wants young people who are idealistic and imbued with love of country.

“I want the young ones who are not prone to graft and corruption,” the mayor added. 

Duterte said he still has to firm up the final list of senatorial candidates he will endorse. 

He said he is inclined to support former military or police officials who are running for the Senate in next year’s polls.

Duterte said he will let his friend Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquaio join the senatorial ticket of Vice President Jejomar Binay. – With Perseus Echeminada


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