MANILA (2nd UPDATE)—President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday recalled confessing to a Catholic priest about an inappropriate act he did to a maid when he was younger, and being "touched" by the prelate.
In a speech in Kidapawan City, Duterte talked about the matter as he again made reference to his criticism of the Catholic church, including alleged cases of sexual abuse committed by priests.
In his narration, Duterte said he went into a maid's room while she was asleep and behaved inappropriately.
He then confessed this to a priest of the Catholic school he was attending, and the latter allegedly touched him. The President earlier claimed to have been molested by a Catholic priest.
"Totoo man, it’s true. Lahat naman ng mga bata dumaan ng . . . (All children went through that). Habang nagkukumpisal kami, hinahawakan ka naman (While we're confessing, they touch us)," Duterte said in a speech.
"Ang Katoliko (The Catholic Church) has [become] a very lewd thing. It has to correct itself before . . . kundi kalaban talaga nila 'ko (or else I will be their enemy) and I will continue to attack them."
In a statement, women's group Gabriela called Duterte's statement "deeply disturbing."
"It is deeply disturbing even for Duterte to brag about attempting to rape a househelp when he was a minor," Gabriela Secretary Geneal Jom Salvador said.
"This statement about his crime as a young man is only the latest in his countless statements bragging about flagrantly committing crimes against women and the people from goading soldiers to rape women in Marawi to ordering the bombing and hamletting of lumad communities and publicly ordering extrajudicial killings in the name of the war on drugs."
Duterte also slammed reported sexual and physical abuse by priests in the country.
"Sa newspaper ngayon, 'yung pari may binugbog na bata kasi hindi pinakain 'yung aso, 'yung labrador. 'Yung bata anak ng cook. 'Yung isa sa Biliran, he was molesting the boy for so many years," he said, referring to the American priest who was arrested earlier this month.
Duterte warned the Catholic Church not to meddle "too much" in state affairs, as he cited a character in Jose Rizal's novel.
"'Wag niyong sobrahan 'yung pakiaalam ninyo. Parang si Padre Damaso talaga ng 'Noli Me Tangere.' Makialam pa, mas marunong pa sa iyo," he said, in yet another criticism of the Catholic church, the Philippines' dominant religion.
(Don't meddle too much. You're like Padre Damaso in 'Noli Me Tangere.' They meddle, think they know better than you.)
"Di naman ako nakipag-away, pero 'yang sitwasyon ng hawak ng simbahan, lahat ng countries na hinawakan ng religions di talaga umangat. Basta relihiyon papasok sa buhay ng sibilyan, wala na."
(I'm not trying to pick a fight, but this situation where the Church, all countries that were held by religions did not develop. If religion is involved in a civilian's life, nothing comes of it.)
Earlier this year, Duterte hit Catholic teachings, tagged priests and bishops in alleged corruption and abuse, and even called God "stupid."