MANILA - Cultural activist Carlos Celdran and a social media user drew the ire of netizens for an online image of the Sto. Niño whose face was altered to that of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The edited image was posted on Facebook by a Max Namara.
Celdran, a known critic of Duterte, left the comment "Pwet Señor" on the viral photo, in an apparent tirade against the devotion of supporters to the President.
Scores of enraged social media users lambasted Celdran and Namara for their supposed disrespect to the Child Jesus and Duterte.
Monsignor Joseph Tan, media liaison officer of the Archdiocese of Cebu, said the post was done maliciously and failed to consider other people's faith.
But Tan also sought to pacify enraged netizens and urged them to pray instead for Celdran and Namara to realize their mistake.
Celdran, on his part, responded in the comments section with an invitation for his critics to meet him at a hotel in Cebu.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, he also clarified that his remark on the viral post was aimed at Dutert and not the religious icon.
"Look at the meme done by a certain 'Max Namara'. Is that the Santo Niño you see? No it is not. It's a picture of Digong superimposed on the Santo Niño. Therefore, it is NOT an image of the Santo Niño at all," he said.
"So if we follow logic, my reply/comment: 'Pwet Señor' was aimed at Digong and NOT at the Santo Niño at all. But then again, if you cannot tell the difference between the two, that isn't my problem anymore," he added. -- With a report from DYAB Cebu