Duterte says priest-abuser 'forgiven but not forgotten'

David Dizon, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 09 2015 07:07 PM | Updated as of Dec 09 2015 08:17 PM

MANILA - Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he has already forgiven a Jesuit priest who fondled him as a youngster but that he has not forgotten the incident. 

Speaking to radio DZMM's "Ikaw na ba? Para sa Pamilyang Pilipino", Duterte confirmed that Fr. Mark Falvey, SJ, was the one who fondled him while he was a student of Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU).

"I took it as part of life. Hindi naman sinasadya ng Jesuits...Alam mo, it's human frailty that's working. So I have forgiven him. Matagal na. But siyempre certainly I cannot forget because every time mag reunion kami, nagtatawanan kami. Yung iba patay na. Dahan-dahan nauubos na yung klase namin. Yung naiwan naglolokohan pa kami kung saan ikaw..." he said. 

Duterte earlier revealed the abuse happened once when he was a high school freshman in 1956. He said other boys were also molested by the American priest.

Duterte was later expelled from the AdDU due to misconduct, and was sent to a distant school in Digos City, the Holy Cross of Digos, where he eventually finished his secondary education.

WATCH: Duterte claims abuse in Catholic school

Society of Jesus spokesperson Fr. Nono Alfonso, Jr. later confirmed other allegations of child abuse against Fr. Falvey surfaced after his death. 

"After his death there, may mga lumitaw po na kaso laban sa kanya. May child abuse cases, lalaki at babae. Again po, hindi po nagkaroon ng formal cases dahil patay na po siya at that time," Alfonso said.

READ: Duterte's Jesuit abuser also tagged in complaints abroad

The mayor admitted that the abuse done by priests is no laughing matter. "It's happening everywhere," he said. 

He said there was one instance where a priest took a soldier's wife as a mistress. "Yung isang sundalo na ginawang kabit ang asawa niya ng pari."

Asked why he did not raise a complaint against the Jesuit priest when the latter was still alive, Duterte said a lot of people, including himself, were intimidated by the Church. 

"Usual kasi yang you go to hell. Yun yung kaya napapasunod. The only reason why we do not fight it because early on sa ating...Ateneo ako sandali, tapos nag law ako, pari rin. Umalis ako ng Ateneo, pari din yun."

Duterte said any advocacy to expose the wrongdoing of priests should come from within the church. 

"I think the advocacy for that must start in the church. Sila mismo sa church must prepare something to lecture on. Sila mismo. Anything, anybody must be reported," he said. 

Duterte earlier came under fire for cursing Pope Francis during the Holy Father's visit to Manila last January. The mayor later said he was only railing at the hellish traffic during the Pope's visit, and that his cursing was directed at the government's inefficiency.

He said he later met with Bishop George Rimando, Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles and Monsignor Paul Cuison to apologize for his words.

"Ang sabi ko sumadsad lang ang dila ko dahil mas sanay akong magmura," he said. 

Duterte said he was told by the priests to control his words and place a sanction upon himself every time he curses. 

This is the reason why he vowed to donate 1,000 pesos to Caritas Davao for every swear word he says.

READ: Duterte to donate cash for cuss words