DO SOMETHING POSITIVE | Palace to Villegas: Just pray for Pres. Duterte

3 months ago

(JANUARY 17, 2019) -Instead of attacking President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang insisted on Thursday that Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas should just pray for him.

“He should pray for the president. He should help him. He should do something positive rather than attack the administration,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing.

“If he’s worried about Duterte’s character, eh ‘di ipagdasal niya,” he added.

Panelo was reacting to a statement by Villegas saying he was more worried that Duterte’s tirades against the Catholic Church may not be good for his health and for his stature as the country’s leader.

“I am more worried for the President than the Church. Because the Church has been there for 2,000 years, guided by God, guided by our faith, at alam ko na mas marami pang pagsubok na pinagdaanan ang Simbahan na nalampasan niya sa loob ng 2,000 taon,” Villegas said in a radio interview.

“Ang nag-wo-worry ako sa ating Pangulo kasi hindi maganda para sa kaniya, para sa kaniyang kalusugan, para sa kaniyang stature, ‘yung kaniyang ginagawang pag-uugali patungkol sa Simbahan,” he added.

Panelo also advised the Church not to meddle with the ways of the administration.

“Freedom of expression ‘yan, they are entitled to that. Ang sinasabi lang namin, if you’re men of the cloth, talagang trabaho mo eh spiritual awakening of the faithfuls. ‘Wag mo nang pakialaman ‘yung estado with respect doon sa mga methods na ginagawa [nito] para sa bayan,” he said.

“The president cannot be stopped from speaking his mind on any particular matter that [to him] is important. In the same way, you cannot stop these bishops from speaking themselves. Hayaan muna natin,” he added.

The Duterte administration has been at odds with the Church due to the bloody campaign against drugs. In turn, the president has repeatedly attacked Church leaders for their supposed hypocrisy and corruption.