AFTER saying that he would not apologize for his tirades against God, President Rodrigo Duterte relented during a meeting with an evangelical leader in Malacañang on Tuesday night.
“If it’s the same God, then I’m sorry, that’s how it is. Sorry, God. As in sorry God. If God is taken in a generic term by everybody listening then that’s well and good,” Duterte said in a video posted by the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) on its Facebook Page on Wednesday.
The President issued the apology during a meeting with evangelist Brother Eddie Villanueva at the Malago Golf Club in Malacañang on Tuesday night.
Villanueva, who heads the Jesus is Lord Movement, asked the President to apologize for his rant about a “stupid God” and for questioning the creation theory in the Bible.
But the President told his critics that they should “never use the name of God to attack government.””
“There is a separation of church and state. Do not use God to attack government. That is not proper, and God, I’m sure that is not what God wants — things to happen,” Duterte said.
“I only apologize to God, nobody else. If I wronged God, then He would be happy to listen to my apology. Why? Because my God is all forgiving. Why? Because he does not remember past hurts. Why? Because God created me to be good and not to be bad,” he added.
Duterte sparked public outrage in the predominantly Catholic Philippines after he called the Christian God “stupid” for creating Adam and Eve only to allow temptation to destroy the purity of His work.
In a recent speech, Duterte vowed to immediately resign if Christians could prove through a selfie that their God existed.
Aside from Villanueva, Duterte also met with Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles in Malacanang on Monday night and agreed to tone down his rhetoric about “God.”
But in less than 24 hours, Duterte was at it again.
Speaking at the National Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Summit 2018 of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Duterte let all hell break loose with his rhetoric on heaven and hell.
“If your God created hell, then he is a stupid God. My God is not stupid to create man just to burn him,” said Duterte.
“My God never created hell […] I do not believe in heaven, if I do, only a fraction of this crowd will ever enter,” said Duterte.
Duterte warned critics not to use religion as a platform to attack him and said that it was because of this that he was forced to “re-create a design of his own God.”
“There is a separation of power between any Church and state, why are you bringing the name of the Lord against me?” he said.
“Ang diyos ko ay forgiving, hindi bastos, hindi nagmumura at walang sinasabi kundi ang 10 commandments.” Duterte describing his own image of God.
(“My God is forgiving, is not rude, does not swear and says nothing but the 10 commandments.”)
Duterte said that he would never apologize for his words because of his principles. WITH REPORTS FROM JULIUS VILLAVIEJA, MICHELLE JANE MISLANG