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Matagal nang may duda: Palace says Duterte’s doubts over Bible stories date back to Ateneo days

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President Rodrigo Duterte’s doubts about the Bible’s account of God started when he was just a young student at the Ateneo De Davao University, Malacañang said Tuesday (June 25).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Tuesday (June 26) that Duterte has had questions about the Bible because of the way it was taught at the Jesuit-run school.

“Ang Pangulo po, iyan ang kanyang paninindigan, sa tingin niya iyong tinuro sa kanya noong siya ay nasa Ateneo… o ng catechism o ano iyong konsteksto ng original sin ay parang hindi siya nagsa-sang-ayon,” he said.

Duterte finished his secondary education in the High School Department of the then Holy Cross College of Digos (now Cor Jesu College) in the city of Digos after he was expelled twice from previous schools, including Ateneo De Davao University.

Roque said the chief executive is just expressing his personal views about the origin of the original sin.

“Ano ba iyan: kailangan mo pang bigyan ng literal na interpretasyon iyong ahas na diumano ay nag-engganyo na kainin iyong ipinababawal na mansanas; ang sabi nga ni Presidente eh, mansanas galing China ano,” he said.

Duterte recently drew flak for calling God “stupid” and questioning the Bible’ account of the creation and original sin.

Roque invoked freedom of religion when the President expressed his opinion against the Catholic belief, calling God as “stupid”, which widened his rift with the Church that had also criticized the administration’s drug campaign that marred with extra-judicial killings.

“Pero iyan po ang anyo ng kalayaan ng pananampalataya ano – bahala ang taumbayan kung anong gusto nilang paniwalaan, that is an absolute guarantee that they come to believe. Pero kung merong ganyang kalayaan ang mga faithful to the Catholic Church, eh meron ding ganyang kalayaan iyong hindi mga sang-ayon sa doktrina ‘no. So sa akin po, ganyan lang po iyan,” he said.