MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday defended his controversial remark calling God “stupid”, saying it is “true”.
Duterte has drawn flak after saying he found fault in the creation story in the Bible and questioned God's logic, saying He is "stupid."
The President questioned why the Catholic God should created “something perfect” only to “destroy” it later with the original sin committed by Adam and Eve.
“Totoo naman (that’s true),” Duterte said of his controversial comment in his speech during the oath-taking of newly elected Northern Mindanao barangay captains in Cagayan de Oro.
The President, who was born and raised as a Catholic, claimed that he was not referring to his own god when he labelled God as stupid.
“Wala akong sinabing torpe ang ginoo ko (I did not say my god was stupid),” he said.
“Your god is not my god because your god is stupid. Mine has a lot of common sense.”
He also claimed he made the statement in relation to his criticism against Sister Patricia Fox, a missionary nun who has drawn the his ire for supposedly being anti-government.
A review of the transcript of the President’s speech, however, shows no mention of or any reference to Fox.
Duterte added, nobody has the right to “bind” him to a certain belief, and that it is up to him whether to believe in God or not.
“If I choose not to believe in any god, what’s the “f*****g thing about it? It’s about freedom to choose one,” he said.
He said he instead believes in a “universal being” who is “more supreme than the rest of the gods of men.”
In his speech, Duterte again mocked the creation story in the Christian Bible. He also questioned the story behind the last supper, wherein Jesus Christ had his last meal with his apostles before his crucifixion.
“Sabi ko, not everything in the bible is true. Sino nag-publish niyang Bible na iyan? Even itong last supper. Who are the idiots there? Basta nalang gi — ginawang santo kay tua man ngadto sa painting. (The people in the painting were suddenly made saints just because they were there),” he claimed.
The President also slammed his critics for “riding” on the issue. He said he will only apologize for his remarks if they can say that their god is “perfect.”
“Tell me if it’s a perfect god, luluhod ako dito, I will kneel down. Tell me if it is a very poignant story of the history of mankind or it is really a stupid one,” he said.
Duterte has long criticized the Roman Catholic Church leadership in the Philippines over alleged hypocrisy. He cited allegations some bishops were on the take from politicians.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte must not be criticized for airing his views on religious matters as he has the right to do so.
Roque claimed that Duterte’s attack on the Church may be borne out of his experience with some members of the clergy.
The President had claimed that he was abused by a priest when he studied in a Catholic school.
Pro-life Philippines chairman Raul Nidoy said it is blasphemy to call God "stupid."
"We have to correct [the President]. I'm sorry but it's blasphemy to call God stupid," he told ANC.
"Politically, it's a problem for him. Theologically and morally, I fear for his soul because he is our leader. But I also fear for the souls of the people he is leading," Nidoy said.