MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte "did most of the talking" during his one-on-one meeting with the head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, his spokesperson said Tuesday.
Duterte met with CBCP head and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles at Malacañang on Monday afternoon. The meeting came after religious groups criticized the President for calling God "stupid" and questioning the creation story.
"It was the President who did most of the talking and Archbishop Valles did most of the listening," Roque told reporters.
"But one the things that the President did mention was given that there is separation of church and state, 'wag naman sana gamitin ang pulpito para batikusin ang kaniyang administrasyon," he added.
(The pulpit should not be used to criticize his administration.)
Some Catholic leaders have denounced Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign and push for the revival of death penalty. The President, meanwhile, has branded the Catholic Church as the "most hypocritical institution.
Following his meeting with Valles, Duterte has promised to stop issuing statements about the church, said his spokesperson.
The bishop, for his part, has said that listening "was an important first step" in dialogues between the Church and the government, added Roque.
A 4-man government panel will meet with CBCP representatives following Duterte and Valles' meeting, Malacañang said.