President Rodrigo Duterte talked about God again on Thursday night in various contexts, telling a crowd in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay that the war on illegal drugs he has waged since the start of his term made even the supreme deity his enemy.
Discussing five issues that he wanted to address for the rest of his presidency, Duterte said the second was drugs, then added: “I’ve made plenty of enemies, reaching as far as… Even God was included. Of course, I believe in God. What I said was your God is not my God.”
“My God is—has common sense. Yours does not. There is a separation of Church and State. You should honor it by not invoking God. You may criticize me,” he added, echoing previous comments that recently got him in trouble with the Catholic Church and other religious groups.
Duterte also said, in jest, that he began to look like God for the many times that he had to face an icon of Jesus Christ on the altar while his mother Soledad, who he said was a strict disciplinarian, whipped him.
“We really can’t… We have different perceptions or images of God. For all the times that my mother beat me—she would beat me with anything that she gets her hands on,” he admitted.
“Every week I would do this two to three times at the altar. It was really painful. If you see closely, just look closely. For the many times that I stared at Christ, we have begun to look alike. It’s true,” Duterte said.
“But [Christ’s] nose is taller. It was intentionally made that way for there to be a difference between the human being and God. But come to think of it, when really you stare at God, you can really say, ‘He looks like our President,’” he added.
“Truthfully, my mother never lacked in her efforts to discipline me. And because I was facing God always as a punishment, I told her, ‘When I’m all grown up and I can no longer join you and kneel on monggo beans, [I will] bear with it alone, because I’m also putting up with the foolish Filipinos here,’” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Earlier, Duterte said during his speech for the 69th Araw ng Ipil celebrations that he truly believes in God.
He then said he would not fight the Church amid his concern about the religious sector’s use of money collected from the Catholics.
“I cannot fight my faith because I was baptized Catholic, but I suspended it for the meantime. You know why? Because there’s a separation of the Church and State,” he said.