Duterte lashes out at priests critical of drug war

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2016 05:32 PM

'Mga pari ang p***** i**, buwisit. Mga pa moral-moral' 

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday lashed out at Catholic priests for criticizing his war on drugs, singling out a retired archbishop from his home city of Davao.

Speaking to police personnel in Zamboanga City, Duterte said he does not accept the criticisms of priests and bishops about his war on drugs, stressing that it is his duty to stamp out the narcotics trade in the Philippines.

“I’m really appalled by so many groups and individuals, including priests and bishops, complaining about the number of persons killed itong dito sa operation against the drug problem,” Duterte said.

Davao Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla at his office in Davao City. Vina Araneta, ABS-CBN News

Duterte singled out Davao Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla in his speech, after the latter expressed concern over the rising death toll in the war on drugs.

“Sila Capalla, iyung bishop namin doon, kung mag-, pareho man kami, may mga kabit rin, sila obispo, ako mayor noon. Mga pari ang p***** i**, buwisit. Mga pa moral-moral. Paano ko pigilan iyan? Magpigil ako ngayon? Patay ang Pilipinas,” he said.

Capalla earlier raised the alarm over the spate of killings linked to Duterte's war on drugs, saying incidents of violence in the country seem to be getting out of hand.

"Everybody that I know is worried about it. From my point of view, I think it's the question of violence, getting it into a spiral and it seems intensifying," said Capalla, who is also co-convenor of the Bishops-Ulama conference, a group that promotes cooperation between Muslims and Christians.

"Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it and right is right even if nobody is doing it. Our sense of morality, our moral values, our sense of right and wrong is not anymore strict. Our conscience (has) become callous, the end does not justify the means," he said.

Capalla said, Duterte should consider public opinion.

"I would like to ask him to listen to the people, to the poor people who are also suffering, he is the one who loves them and will do everything for them, they have something to say about what's happening, not just to the experts," he said.

Capalla said he wrote to then-mayor Duterte in 2001 expressing concern about the alleged summary killings at that time which turned the city into a "wild wild west," but he got no response.

A portion of the letter read: "Crimes like individual murder and drug pushing, though a social sin and problem, are not a direct assault on society. It therefore cannot claim to use capital punishment, much less salvaging by death squads as a form of society's self-defense."

Duterte’s war on drugs has earned global condemnation, with the United States, European Union and United Nations stressing the need for Duterte to respect the rule of law.

Duterte has dismissed international criticisms of his campaign, threatening to cut ties with Western governments critical of his war on drugs. – with Vina Araneta, ABS-CBN News