MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte asked the Filipino nation on Monday night to persevere as the country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic that has upended the way of living.
"Ang importante talaga dito is your perseverance. You must persevere during this time," the President said in his public address aired Tuesday morning.
Duterte, a Catholic, expressed confidence that God would not abandon Filipinos especially since the Philippines is known as Asia's bastion of Catholicism.
"Marunong ang Diyos. Alam niya, hindi niya tayo pababayaan especially Pilipinas kasi Kristiyano tayo. Magsakripisyo lang tayo konti," he said.
(God is wise. He knows. He will not abandon us, especially the Philippines because we are Christians. Let's just sacrifice a bit.)
The President urged Filipinos to cling to God as the world battles the COVID-19 crisis.
"Tutal ang ating idol nagsakripisyo man din, pinag hampas-hampas, pinako pa sa krus. Tayo, pasimba-simba lang.Luhod luhod ka lang diyan. Dedicate it to the Lord that you also suffer for the country,” he said in reference to the passion of Christ.
(Our idol also sacrificed. He was flogged and crucified. We only go to Church and kneel. Dedicate it to the Lord that you also suffer for the country.)
Duterte has made no secret of his disdain for the Catholic Church, known as a staunch critic of his administration's war on illegal drugs. In several speeches in the past, he has questioned the existence of God, Church doctrines,and its beliefs.
He, however, has also said that he believes his presidency was a "gift from God."