CEBU CITY - "Simpleng tao, madaling kausapin, hindi ka matatakot."
This was how Cebu Archbishop-Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal described President Rodrigo Duterte following their two-hour conversation in Malacañang on Wednesday afternoon.
The 85-year-old prelate said he considers his courtesy call on the President as a door that can open communication between the Catholic church and the government.
He urged bishops and other leaders of the Catholic church to give Duterte the benefit of the doubt and avoid making negative comments at this early stage of the new leadership.
Cardinal Vidal was mum on other details of his conversation with Duterte, but he assured the President of his unceasing prayers to guide his leadership.
The prelate said the President made a candid remark, admitting that so much work has to be done in solving the problems of the nation.
The former archbishop evaded questions on his views about the "iron-fist" approach of the current administration in running after criminals.
He said it is up to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to make a stand on the issue.
But Cardinal Vidal was clear on his pronouncement that illegal drugs are a menace to society which destroy relationships among family members.