DAVAO CITY―President Rodrigo Duterte again slammed the Catholic Church for criticizing his campaign against illegal drugs and for portraying him as the prime suspect in the alleged summary killings in the country.
Duterte, who spoke in front of village officials on Tuesday night, said the Church must remind the public to stop using illegal drugs and submit themselves to authorities instead.
He said the primary role of the Church was to educate and guide the people to the right path.
“There are about four million addicts and they are all slaves of illegal drugs. Religion should guide them,” Duterte said.
He made his statement even as high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian was transferred to the headquarters of the National Bureau of Investigation due to threats to his life.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II refused to give details on who was threatening Sebastian, but said he had already ordered an investigation.
“[Sebastian was transferred] upon the request of his counsel and his wife,” Aguirre said.
Duterte said the recent bombing at the Santo Niṅo church in Midsayap, North Cotabato, was a result of drug addiction.
He said the police, the military and even the communist rebels had told him that the person behind the Christmas Eve bombing was a drug personality.
“The bombing was a drug-related incident,” Duterte said.
He said while the Church people continued to point its fingers at him, they were failing to realize that more fingers were being pointed at them.
“It is about time that I show[ed] you the true color of religion. Not [everything it] say[s] is true,” he said.
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