MANILA - After courting public outrage for saying God is "stupid", President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday questioned the concept of heaven and hell.
In his speech during the founding anniversary celebration of Southern Leyte, Duterte said he believes his god does not put anyone in hell.
“Kaya dun daw ako ilalagay ng Ginoo sa impiyerno, na baliw na. Yung diyos ko walang impyerno, walang langit. Iyung impiyerno ko, hindi g*** ng diyos na iyung iba, gumagawa ng impiyerno. Bakit mo ako gagawan ng impiyerno na... ano bang kasalanan ko? Iyung mga babae-babae? Ano ba iyan, para sa lipunan na ilalagay mo ako sa impiyerno? Ang Diyos, all forgiving. 'Di iyan marunong maglagay sa impyerno, hindi ‘yan totoo. Hindi rin totoo ang purgatoryo, langit lang iyan,” he said in Bisaya.
The President also told the audience: “Dito kayo maniwala sa Iglesia ni Duterte – ang bagong relihiyon ngayon. Huwag kayo pumalakpak at sumigaw, hindi na kayo bebendetihan kapag namatay.”
Duterte has been heavily criticized after saying in a June 22 speech that God is “stupid” for creating a “perfect” creation in the form of Adam and Eve only to destroy them later with the original sin.
The President then claimed a few days later that what he meant was, “Your God is not my God because your God is stupid. Mine has a lot of common sense.”
Reeling from the outrage over his controversial “stupid God” remark, the President has formed a team to hold a dialogue with leaders of the Catholic Church and other Christian groups.
Duterte and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President Romulo Valles are set to meet on July 9, according to Special Assistant to the President Bong Go. The venue is still being finalized.