Duterte: I once considered being a priest

Pia Ranada
'Mabuti hindi ako nasali doon eh 'di ngayon naging bakla na ako,' President Rodrigo Duterte says during a gathering of a religious group

'MANO PO.' President Rodrigo Duterte places his forehead on Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle's hand to show respect during a meeting at the Study Room of Malacañang Palace on July 19, 2016. File photo by Kiwi Bulaclac/PPD

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte, not exactly the holiest of men, said that he once mulled joining the priesthood.

“I consider[ed] at one time in my life [to be] a priest,” Duterte said on Wednesday night, August 31, during a gathering of a religious group in Davao City.

It’s unclear if this is another of his outrageous statements that should not be taken seriously.

But he followed it up with a statement that elicited much laughter from his audience.

Mabuti hindi ako nasali doon eh ‘di ngayon naging bakla na ako,” said the President. 

(It’s good I didn’t join the priesthood or else now I would be a homosexual.)

Even during the 2016 campaign season, Duterte did not hesitate to express his views on the Catholic Church.

Although he says he is a Catholic, he has blasted the church for “hypocrisy,” blaming them for sins like corruption and sexual abuse.

Duterte had even admitted he himself was sexually harassed by a Jesuit priest when he was in high school.

He infamously cursed Pope Francis, leader of the Roman Catholic Church, for the traffic jams during the pontiff’s visit to Metro Manila in 2013.

Duterte later on apologized and planned to fly to the Vatican to personally say sorry to the Pope. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.