Villegas asks Catholics: Are you going to deny your faith by your vote?

Ryan Macasero - Philstar.com
Villegas asks Catholics: Are you going to deny your faith by your vote?
In between clips cut from various speeches of Duterte, Archbishop Villegas would read various Bible passages in response to the sound bite. 

MANILA, Philippines — Ahead of the official start of the Lenten season, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Soc Villegas posted a video compilation on his Facebook page of President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against the church over the past two years. 

“My dear brothers and sisters, are you going to betray God, are you going to deny your faith, by your vote?” Villegas asked at the end of the video. 

In between clips cut from various speeches of Duterte, Villegas would read various Bible passages in response to the sound bite. 

“Are there any bishops here, I want to kick your ass. And the priests,” Duterte said in one of the clips played in the video. 

Villegas read this passage following that soundbite: “Hudas, ipagkakanulo mo ba ang anak ng tao sa sa isang halik (Judas would you betray the son of man with a kiss)?” 

The former CBCP president has clashed with Duterte on several occasions since the runup to the 2016 polls and the beginning of his presidency. 

Villegas first rebuked Duterte in 2015 after he cursed Pope Francis over gridlock in Metro Manila triggered by his visit to the Philippines. 

Villegas said then: "Vulgarity is corruption. When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people."

“When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laughs, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame. My countrymen has gone to the dregs,” he also said.

READ: A look at the Church's 'tirades' vs Duterte

In a January statement issued by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, now headed by Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, the church reiterated its opposition to policies of the Duterte administration including human rights abuses in the drug war and lowering the age of criminal responsibility.

"As bishops, we have no intention of interfering in the conduct of State affairs,” the statement read. “But neither do we intend to abdicate our sacred mandate as shepherds to whom the Lord has entrusted his flock.” the CBCP said then.

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, another vocal critic of the drug war — especially of killings in the cities of Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas —   has reportedly been receiving death threats. 

READ: Prayer vigil held for Caloocan bishop’s safety

David has been the target of Duterte's tirades and was accused by the president of being into drugs and stealing donation funds. He also called on drug addicts to rob and kill bishops.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, would not take the blame for the alleged threats against the bishop, calling the president’s comments a “hyperbole.” 

“If one is a drug addict, it doesn’t matter to him who endorsed. You know, drug addicts are crazy... Their brains have been affected so there is no need for encouragement from anyone to do something bad against a person,” Panelo said last February. 

READ: Palace: Duterte's anti-Church tirades not to blame for death threats vs priests

After David made the threats publicly known, Duterte changed his tune and called on people not to harm priests or bishops. 

“Either Muslims or Christians, they had nothing to do with us. Do not do it. Do not try to do it. Ang religious [leaders] had nothing to do with the vagaries of life. Lay off! Stop threatening them or ako ang makakalaban ninyo (you will have to face me),” he said.

While Panelo dismissed the threats against the bishop as possibly "fabricated," at least three priests were killed in separate incidents last year. 




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with
no session for state
no session for code
no session for id_token
no session for user