MANILA- His disdain for the Catholic Church is no secret but President Rodrigo Duterte asserts that he is a “deeply religious person.”
Duterte, who has questioned the existence of God, the creation story in the Bible, and other Church doctrines, clarified early Wednesday that he is not sacrilegious and even uses the Bible as his guide in life.
“You might think that just because I quarrel with the cardinals and the bishops that I am not --- that I’m irreverent. ‘Yung I could be a sacrilegious guy. Hindi [k]aya. Kilala ako ni Pastor [Apollo Quiboloy],” he said in an interview over the pastor’s TV program.
“I am a deeply religious person, sa totoo lang. And my [guide in] life, alam ni Pastor ‘yan is the Bible. And if you can memorize by heart and understand Ecclesiastes 3. You can face any problem. You might not be able to solve it but you can understand why,” he said.
The President even urged the public to read the said chapter in the Bible’s Book of Ecclesiastes which discusses about how there is a season for everything in life.
“Read Ecclesiastes 3 when you have a problem. ‘Pag namatayan ka sa pamilya mo, basahin mo lang (When you lose someone in your family, just read that). That there is a time for every season under the sun. There’s a time to live, born and a time to die,” he said.
Duterte, who noted that he has “faith in God” even revealed that while he never lost an election since 1988 until his bid for the presidency in 2016, he was prepared to handle such because he was using the Bible.
“Kaya sa ako --- so when I was running so many elections, wala akong talo eh. I never lost an election since 1988 until the presidency. But I was prepared to deal with it every time because I was using the Bible. As there is a time for victory, there has to be a time for defeat. Kaya ganun ako (That’s why I’m like that),” he said.
Despite Duterte's controversial pronouncements and attacks on the Catholic Church and its men, he continuous to enjoy high trust and popularity ratings in Asia’s bastion of Catholicism.