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Duterte lashes out at priests after Church leaders’ criticism: Pareho tayong maraming asawa!

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President Rodrigo Duterte slammed the clergy once again after leaders of the Catholic Church expressed concern that his statements against them may “unwittingly embolden more crimes against priests.”

In a speech before newly promoted uniformed personnel in Malacañang Wednesday (June 13), Duterte said several priests get death threats because of their illicit relationships with women.

“Sabi ng nabasa ko, ‘stop persecuting priests.’ Wala naman akong sinabi,” he said. “… ‘Yung pari namatay, meron kami. May binigay sa akin ang pulis but sinupress ko kasi hindi maganda para sa Katoliko. Eh babae eh. Pareha kami ng issue ng babae nung pari na ‘yun, babae.”

Duterte said he was forced to speak up on the priests’ affairs because Dagupan-Lingayen Archbishop Socrates Villegas accused him of persecuting priests.

“‘Yun, sinupress ko ‘yun, hindi ko pinalabas. Sabi ko, “but if these guys are… keep on shouting there, ilalabas ko ‘yung…”,” he said.

“Alam mo ‘yung pari is no better than me. May mga pari diyan tig-dalawa ang asawa. Kayo lumamang lang kayo ng tatlo. [laughter] Mga pulis, maniwala kayo, multo rin kayo. Sus matagal ako,” he added.

Villegas called Duterte out over his verbal attacks against the clergy following the killings of Fr. Marcelito Paez, Fr. Mark Ventura, and Fr. Richmond Nilo.

Opposition senator Risa Hontiveros has filed Senate Resolution 764 asking the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee to look into the three priests’ deaths.