MANILA - Presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday alleged that he was abused in a Catholic school when he was still a young boy.
The Davao City mayor threatened to reveal his alleged experiences amid the furor caused by his expletive-laden speech Monday that included Pope Francis.
"Maliliit na mistake... huwag na iyan... sabi ko hindi ako mamamatay pag hindi ako Presidente," he said. "Kung gusto mo mag-withdraw ako then I will challenge you to a debate tomorrow if you want tapos sabihin ko lahat."
"The sad story of the Catholic way dito," he alleged. "Kami sa Ateneo noon, and I will tell you the abuses committed against the minors during that time including me and I will tell you my story."
Duterte, however, did not specify what kind of abuse he allegedly experienced, and which "Ateneo" he was referring to.
He also did not reveal names.
Duterte also defended himself against criticisms that he is a womanizer.
"Eh bakit ba binigyan tayo ng Diyos, aanhin ko pa ito? Hiwalay ako sa asawa ko, uuwi ako sa bahay mag-isa, ano ba naman ipitin ko ito sa p____," he said. "Paggising ko, buhay 'to."
Duterte admitted he regrets his actions amid outrage that he cursed at Pope Francis.
But he clarifies that was not his intention.
READ: Duterte: It was never my intention to disrespect Pope Francis
READ: CBCP head rebukes Duterte for cursing Pope
Duterte admitted that he should have explained better his point on the alleged incompetence of the government in handling the traffic problems in the metropolis.
He said he was merely expressing his anger brought about by the helplessness of the millions of commuters suffering from daily gridlocks.
The mayor nonetheless said he understands the reactions of many who were not pleased with his statement.
"It was never intended to be directed to the person of His Holiness Pope Francis, who has his utmost respect. It was out of exasperation at the inutility of the functionaries in government not only during that historic visit of Pope Francis but at the daily sufferings of all citizens in Metro Manila up to this moment.
"Mayor Rody also fully understands the reactions of many who, at the very least, are displeased and disappointed at this unfortunate and regrettable incident," the statement read.
The president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on Tuesday earlier criticized Duterte for allegedly cursing at the pope after his visit caused heavy traffic in Metro Manila.
VILLEGAS: LEAD BY EXAMPLE
In a Facebook post, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said public officials should be visionaries who lead by example.
Villegas added that corruption, the "great scourge of Philippine politics," is not just limited to stealing public funds but takes on many forms, including killing, adultery and corruption.
"When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people. When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laugh, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame. My countrymen has gone to the dregs," he said in his Facebook post.
WATCH: Duterte curses at Pope over Metro Manila traffic
"Is this the leadership by example that Mayor Duterte excites in us? Is this the leadership by example that makes a public official deserving of the title 'Honorable?' I grieve for my country."
The Davao mayor, however, remains unapologetic about his use of colorful language, which he says, is part of his character.
He said that if Catholic voters are turned off by his cursing, he can seek support from other religious sectors. - with a report from Jorge Carino, ABS-CBN News