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Bishop dares Duterte to dish the dirt

MANILA (UCAN): “Let him reveal his so called exposé as long as it is the truth,” Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila, said challenging Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, to come good on a threat and reveal alleged sex scandals committed by priests, saying it would not ruin the Church.
The bishop said Church leaders would thank him if what he revealed was the truth.
Bishop Pabillo, head of the Episcopal Commission on the Laity, said the president’s threats will not stop criticism of his wrongdoings.
“We will not stop criticizing him if he does not stop doing wrong,” he said.
Duterte had boasted that he would reveal the reasons behind a recent spate of priest killings if Church leaders continued to criticise him.
He had previously speculated that Father Mark Ventura, who was shot on April 26, was killed because he had illicit relationships with women (Sunday Examiner, June 3).
“If you are a priest, and you have an affair with the wife of a soldier or a mayor, you will really die,” Duterte said.
The comments were roundly condemned by Church leaders. but in a speech on June 14, the president dug the matter up again, saying he was being forced by his critics to resurrect the issue.
“A priest is no better than me. Some priests have two wives,” he said, adding that he did not elaborate on his earlier comments because it would not look good for the Catholic Church.
“If these guys keep on shouting, I will make this public,” Duterte threatened.
Bishop Pabillo said if the president does not want to be criticised “he should do his duties well.”
The bishop said, “If he wants to be respected let him be respectable and respect others,” adding,”Enough of his threats. No one believes his threats anymore.”
Earlier, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, called on people to pray that God touch Duterte’s heart and move him to stop verbal attacks on Church leaders.
Together with other bishops he issued a statement condemning the recent attacks on the four priests. They claimed the president’s tirades “wittingly embolden more crimes against priests.”
Duterte has denied priests were being persecuted by his administration while presidential spokesperson, Harry Roque, claimed there is an attempt by lawless elements to sow divisions between the president and Church leaders.
In the Philippine Senate, the killings triggered a call for a congressional inquiry, but senate, Vicente Sotto rejected the motion, saying the police could handle the matter.
He also dismissed Luis Cardinal Tagle’s suggestion to look into the proliferation of firearms in the Philippines.

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