'Patayin ninyo': Duterte says bishops better off dead

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2018 07:06 PM | Updated as of Dec 05 2018 09:33 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. Jorge Silva, Reuters/File photo

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday yet again lashed out at Catholic bishops, saying they are better off dead.

“Itong mga obispo ninyo, patayin ninyo. Walang silbi iyang mga gagong iyan. All they do is criticize,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang.

The President has recently stepped up his verbal attacks against Catholic prelates, especially against Caloocan Bishop Pablo David, one of his most ardent critics.

David has taken Duterte’s criticism in stride, saying the public should just bear with the President because he is “a very sick man.”

 

Under Duterte, several priests have been killed by unknown assailants, and critics say the alleged climate of impunity under the current administration has emboldened the killers.

Duterte routinely attacks the Church and its teachings. Earlier this year, he drew flak after calling God “stupid.:”

To deal with the public outrage, the Palace formed a team to hold a dialogue with the Catholic Church, but it remains unclear what progress was achieved by the talks.