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10 July 2018, 12:30 | Devin Moran
Rodrigo Duterte says he’ll resign as Philippine president if someone can prove God exists
"In these times of darkness, when there's so much hatred and violence, when murder has become an nearly daily occurrence, when people have gotten so used to exchanging insults and hurting words [on] the social media, we admonish the faithful to remain steadfast in our common vocation and mission to actively work for peace", he said.
The president has recently sparked anger from Church leaders and other groups after calling God a "stupid son-of-a-bitch".
Duterte's spokesperson defended the president's comments by stating that they are only his personal views and explaining that Duterte may feel this way because of the abuse he endured at the hands of a priest when he was a boy, the BBC reported.
Archbishop Villegas, however, said that while Filipinos pray for healing and for God's forgiveness, there is also a need to rebuke the president on his errors about the Christian faith.
"I don't know why but normally when you go up high in the presidency, when you see that your statements divide and polarize your people, normally the people up there who is committed to national unity know how to let go".
Duterte explained that even though he believed in one supreme God there were still things that he thought were illogical.
"Be at peace. Be calm".
The president said in his latest address: "Every Filipino is entitled to criticise me as a matter of right".
Among the pressing issues the prelate referred to were rising prices, job insecurity, exploitation of women and children, violence, crime, terrorism and corruption.
Santiago, pastor of Covenant Christian Church in Jacksonville, Fla., told Baptist Press Duterte "obviously. does not have a solid biblical knowledge of the Judeo-Christian God" and "relies on his personal understanding of who God is". PRRD agreed to a moratorium on statements about the church after the meeting.
President Duterte at the podium.
But Mercado said that given his fixation, "there's no way to have a dialogue or move forward".
The sufferings of the Church leaders, however, pale in comparison with the sufferings of the poor, specifically slum dwellers being rounded up for loitering outside their homes, drug addicts labeled as "nonhumans", drug suspects killed in cold blood, indigenous peoples forced to leave their homes to avoid being caught in crossfire, Valles said.
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