At land distribution event, Duterte brings up sexual abuse by priests

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
At land distribution event, Duterte brings up sexual abuse by priests
President Rodrigo Duterte in his speech during the 117th anniversary of the Office of the Solicitor General at Le Pavillon in Metropolitan Park, Pasay City on July 3, 2018, reiterates his vow to address the issues of corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs in the country.
Toto Lozano / Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines— President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday shared how he confessed to a priest about “touching” a sleeping househelp when he was still a student. He also said that he was abused by a priest during confession.

In a speech during the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownerswhip Award to agrarian reform beneficiaries in Kidapawan City, Cotabato, Duterte shared how they used to confess their sins to a priest when he was still a high school student at Jesuit-run Ateneo de Davao University.

Asked for his sins during the confession, Duterte said he told the priest he tried "to touch what was inside the panty" of their househelp.

“I went to the room of the maid… I lifted the blanket… I tried to touch what was inside the panty,” he narrated, adding that he repeatedly did the act while the maid was asleep.

Duterte concluded his anecdote by saying the priest asked him to pray and told him “he will go to hell.”

“‘Oh, my God. Say five Our Fathers, five Hail Marys because you will go to hell,” the official transcript of the speech, which notes the audience reacted to the story with laughter, read.

Duterte also allegedly molested by priest

Duterte also claimed he was touched by a priest during confession as he attacked the Catholic Church anew.

“Ganun man ‘yan. Kayo, ayaw lang ninyong ma --- hindi niyo masabi dito. Ako wala man akong --- media? Totoo man. It’s true. Lahat man ng mga bata dumaan ng… Habang nagkukumpisal ka, hinahawakan naman --- hinahawakan ka naman,” Duterte said.

(That's how it is...You don't want... you can't say it here. Me, I don't... media? It's true. All the students went through... While at confession, they will touch you.)

Although there are documented cases of sexual abuse in the  Catholic Church, molestation by priests is by no means a universal experience among Catholics.

“Eh ang bata… Kaya ‘yung abuses sa… Dahan-dahan lang kayo. Ang Katoliko has a very thing --- a very [loaded?] thing. She has to correct itself before it can [clearly call?]… ‘Pag hindi kalaban nila talaga nila ako… And I will continue to attack them,” he added.

(And children... that's why the abuses... Be careful. The Catholic has a very thing  — a very [loaded?] thing.  She has to correct itself before it can [clearly call?]… If not, I will really be their enemy... And I will continue to attack them.)

Confession, or the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church in which the faithful confess their wrongdoings to a priest in a confessional booth or reconciliation room for absolution for the sins against God and neighbors.

In December 2015, Duterte also claimed a Jesuit priest of the ADDU he identified Father Paul Falvey, fondled him in the 1950s. Falvey could not respond to the accusation, being dead.

READ: Duterte identifies priest who molested him

The ADDU, responding to the alleged sexual abuse, asked Duterte to put his allegations into writing so that it could be properly investigated by the Society of Jesus.

'I have my own God'

In his speech on Saturday, Duterte continued to lambast the priests and the Catholic Church and cited the book “Altar of Secrets" by the late journalist Aries Rufo, which he said.details the anomalies of the church. He cited other physical abuses by priests and said that these are among the reasons why he has his own God.

“Kaya totoo talaga ‘yang ano. Kaya mag-criticize sila ng ganon. Sabi ko, your God is stupid. My God --- sarili ko --- has a lot of common sense, ang sinabi ko. Iba ‘yang paniwala mo sa Diyos mo. Iyo ‘yan eh. Huwag mong idamay ako doon sa Diyos mo. Meron akong sariling Diyos, as I conceive God to be,” he said.

He also said “there’s only one God. It’s Allah. God, the Father, period. Walang ibang Diyos sa akin. Only one God.”

The president also asked priests to stop what he said was meddling in state affairs and likened them to a fictional character in national hero Jose Rizal’s novel "Noli Me Tangere", Padre Damaso. Damaso, in the novel, is an abusive and notorious Spanish priest.

“Ito namang mga pari, huwag niyong sobrahan ‘yung pakialam ninyo sa… Para talaga ‘yun si Father Damaso ng Noli Me Tangere. Tama talaga si Rizal. Iyong paghawak ninyo ng… Makialam pa. Mas marunong pa sa iyo,” Duterte said.

(And these priests, don't overdo your meddling in... You are really like Father Damaso in 'Noli Me Tangere'. Rizal was right. You're holding the... Meddling... Like they know better than you.)

Duterte is also known for criticizing God, the Catholic Church and priests despite previous claims in his speeches that he became president because of God.

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