MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he believes in God and is afraid of karma.
“I assure you I believe in God at takot ako sa (I’m afraid of) karma,” he said in a speech during a campaign rally of the PDP-Laban party in Batangas City.
Those remarks appear to be a departure from his statements on Tuesday, when he mocked the beliefs of the Catholic Church.
The President made fun of the Catholic sacrament of confession, saying that the number of sins he commits would require him to confess every day. He also questioned the concept of heaven and hell.
“Kaya ako hindi nagsisimba. Kasi ’pag magsimba ako, ‘Forgive me, father, for I have killed last night three.’ Balik na naman ako kinabukasan, ‘Father, forgive me because I have killed 10 drug lords.’ Pabalik-balik ako, bakit pa ako magpunta doon? Useless,” he said on Tuesday night.
(I don’t attend Mass because if I do, ‘Forgive me, father, for I have killed three last night.’ I will return the next day and say ‘Father, forgive me because I have killed 10 drug lords.’ I’ll keep on returning so why would I go there? Useless.)
Duterte, a Catholic, routinely attacks the Church, its leaders and its teachings. Last year, the President drew flak for calling God “stupid.”
He has also criticized bishops in Asia’s bastion of Catholicism for supposedly “using the pulpit “ to attack him.
Malacañang has repeatedly defended the President’s rhetoric, saying it was just his way of conveying his message.