MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte believes God gifted him the presidency as the country, he said, was becoming a narco-state.
"Hindi naman ako nagyayabang. I'm not the type na may hangin, pero na-timing lang. Mabuti't na lang ako ang na-presidente," he said during a campaign rally in Garcia-Hernandez town, Bohol, late Wednesday night.
(I don't want to brag, but it was providential. Good thing I became the president.)
Duterte was thrust into the presidency, promising to rid the country of corruption, illegal drugs, and crime.
He said he had little support in his bid during the 2016 presidential elections. A handful of political figures and the Chinese community only rallied support for him, he added.
"Even little time to campaign and money wala talaga and yet I won. So I said, 'yung pagka-presidency ko is really a gift from God. Masabi ko na ngayon," he said.
The President has made no secret of his disdain toward the Catholic Church, known as a staunch critic of the administration's war on illegal drugs.
In several speeches, he has questioned the existence of God, Church doctrines and its beliefs.
Despite Duterte's controversial policies and use of coarse language, he continues to enjoy majority approval and trust ratings.