Duterte under fire for cursing Pope Francis
(WARNING: Video contains profanity)
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Monday came under fire for cursing at Pope Francis after he allegedly got caught in a traffic jam during the Catholic leader's visit in the Philippines in January.
Duterte was irate over the bad traffic situation in Metro Manila when he cursed at the Pope.
The Davao mayor, during his speech on Monday at the Century Park hotel where he was formally declared PDP-Laban standard-bearer, said he got stuck for 5 hours in a traffic gridlock because of Pope Francis.
“From the hotel to the airport, alam mo inabot kami ng… limang oras. Sabi ko bakit? Sabi pinasarado daw,” he said.
Duterte said a friend told him that the traffic jam was caused by the Pope's arrival.
"Gusto kong tawagan, 'Pope p******
This drew laughter from some of his supporters in the audience.
However, this was not received well by other people, including Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
"Mayor Duterte, you can say all you want about politicians but you don't curse my Pope Francis! #defendthepope," Lacierda said on Twitter.
Duterte's outburst also drew flak from other people.
Duterte denies cursing Pope Francis
Duterte later denied cursing Pope Francis.
The tough-talking mayor, however, clarified that he would still not invite the pontiff back to the country.
In an ambush interview at a radio station in Makati City where Duterte was also interviewed live on air, the presidential aspirant claimed that it was not Pope Francis who he was cursing, but the way the government handled the security preparations that led to closures of some roads resulting to massive traffic jams in the metro.
Duterte kept on saying that he peed in his car after being stuck for hours in traffic during the Pope's visit. This, he said, was evidence of incompetency on the part of the government.
"I never said p**** mo Pope. I said ‘‘t****, huwag ka na pumunta dito.’" he clarified, "You travel for five hours for five kilometers, you don’t use your heads! You allow people to endure hardships!”
He said if ever given the chance to talk to the Pope, he will suggest for him not to visit the Philippines again if it would mean more suffering for Filipinos.
Duterte said, "Sorry na lang Pope, nadali ka sa pitik ko, baka makarating ito sa Vatican, galit ako sa mga nasarahan, sinara ang mga daan, madami kaming naghirap Pope,” Duterte said.
“If he asks me, ‘are you inviting me again?’ ‘If people will suffer, can I say no this time,’" Duterte added.
"I don’t crave for ratings, I do not need praises, I will not die if I don’t become the president" Duterte said, "if you don’t like my character, the solution is do not vote for me." – with report from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News