Duterte meets with Brother Eddie Villanueva

Pia Ranada
Duterte meets with Brother Eddie Villanueva
President Rodrigo Duterte meets with Jesus Is Lord founder Brother Eddie Villanueva, one of the religious leaders who condemned his 'God is stupid' remark

MANILA, Philippines – Hours after ending his “moratorium” on making remarks about the Catholic Church, President Rodrigo Duterte met with Jesus Is Lord founder Brother Eddie Villanueva on Malacañang grounds.

A photo of the meeting sent by Malacañang showed that it took place in the Malacañang Golf Club House on Tuesday night, July 11.

Present at the meeting were Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.

Earlier that day, Duterte gave a speech at an event in Clark, Pampanga where he was back to calling God “stupid” and hitting his Catholic critics.

Malacañang had previously said that Duterte had promised Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Archbishop Romulo Valles that he would stop making remarks about the Church.

Brother Eddie Villanueva was one of the religious leaders who condemned Duterte’s “God is stupid” remark, saying he felt “holy anger” after watching. 

Villanueva said the remark was a violation of the Constitution which Duterte, as president, swore to protect.

“When you are a leader, especially the highest leader of the nation, and you mock, wittingly or unwittingly, the God being acknowledged by your Constitution, you are actually violating the soul of the nation,” Villanueva had said. – Rappler.com

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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.