Sara Duterte defends President over ‘stupid God’ rant

Paterno Esmaquel II
'He is the President, listen only when he speaks about his work,' says Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio after her father drew flak for calling God 'stupid' in a work-related speech

DEFENDING DUTERTE. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio (right) defends her father, President Rodrigo Duterte (left), after he drew flak for his remarks against a 'stupid God.' Malacañang file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio defended her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, as his recent remarks against God fueled public outrage in this predominantly Christian country.

In a Facebok post, Carpio said Filipinos should not listen to Duterte when he tries to interpret the Bible or the Koran. 

“He is the President, listen only when he speaks about his work. And criticize him on his work, not on his ‘talkkalese,'” she said.

Duterte made his “stupid God” tirade in a work-related speech, on a podium with the presidential seal, at the National Information and Communications Technology Summit on June 22 in Davao City.

Carpio added: “Do not waste your negative energy on his interpretation of the Bible. That is his opinion. He is protected by the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression even if he is President.”

Critics have blasted Duterte not only for manufacturing his own version of the Bible’s creation story, but for also calling God “stupid” and disrespecting most Filipinos’ religious beliefs

“Paano siya magiging pangulo para sa lahat ng Pilipino kung wala siyang paggalang sa mga mananampalatayang Katoliko?” said Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David in a Facebook post on Monday, June 25.  

(How can he be a president for all Filipinos if he does not have respect for the Catholic faithful?)

“Karamihan sa supporters niya ay Katoliko din, ‘di ba? Igagalang naman siya ng mga Katoliko kahit hindi siya sumang-ayon sa pananampalatayang Katoliko. Pero ang hindi pagsang-ayon ay hindi lisensya para mang-insulto,” David added. 

(Most of his supporters are Catholics, right? Catholics will respect him even if he does not agree with the Catholic faith. But disagreement is not a license to insult.) –

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at