MANILA - Days after mocking Catholic practices, President Rodrigo Duterte has called on Filipinos to be inspired and renew their obligation in serving people as they commemorate Holy Week.
In his Holy Week message, Duterte acknowledged that Filipinos' strong faith in God has helped the nation become more resilient.
"May this blessed occasion be an opportunity for prayer and reflection as we strive to uphold what is good and just. Let the spirit of this commemoration inspire us to rekindle our commitment to serve our people, especially those who are in most in need," said Duterte in a statement.
Duterte said he was hoping that virtues of faith, hope and charity will continue to drive efforts in nation-building.
"With guidance from Christ's sacrifice, let us work towards the attainment of our noble aspirations for the nation," he said.
On Tuesday, Duterte hit the Catholic Church anew, as he slammed religious leaders for taking a stand against his controversial war on illegal drugs.
He had also made fun of the Catholic sacrament of confession, saying that the number of sins he commits daily would require him to confess every day.
Malacañang has declared Maundy Thursday (April 13) and Good Friday (April 14) regular holidays, while Black Saturday (April 15) is a special non-working holiday to allow millions of Filipinos to observe the Holy Week tradition.
Meanwhile, security is on heightened alert.