MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he will not apologize for his controversial statement calling God “stupid.”
"No, I will not do that, definitely. Not in a million years," Duterte told reporters in Panglao, Bohol.
"You know, God is personal. It is not formed by textbooks. You nurture God as your faith based on the values that you get from life early on from your parents."
Duterte said he will keep his silence on his "rift against Catholic Church."
"No, particularly in the—in my rift against the Catholic Church. I have no quarrel with the others but if they want to join the fray, it’s fine, I said. I’m here to just… Well, ‘yon ang bisyo ko eh. From time to time I shake the tree of society," he said.
The President earlier quoted a Bible verse that talks about timing.
"You know there’s a page in the Bible which I read almost every day. It’s the Ecclesiastes 3. 'There’s a time to be calm, there’s a time to be silent, to be poignant, a time to be subdued, and a time to be vicious.' Ganoon talaga ang buhay (That's how life is)," Duterte said in a speech at the 25th annual convention of the Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines in Bohol.
Duterte drew criticism from several Catholic bishops and other Christian groups after he called God "stupid” as he spoke about the creation story in the Bible last week.
He has since formed a committee to hold a dialogue with the Catholic Church as the chief executive sought to mend ties with the institution and other sectors.