Duterte says Christian belief in Trinity is ‘silly’

Mara Cepeda
'There’s only one God, period. You cannot divide God into 3, that’s silly,' says President Rodrigo Duterte

ATTACKING THE CHURCH. President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech in Kidapawan City, Cotabato on December 29, 2018. Screenshot from RTVM's Facebook Page

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte mocked the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity, calling it “silly” on Saturday, December 29.

In a speech in Kidapawan City, Cotabato, the President attacked the doctrine of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit as he once again went into a tirade against priests and the Catholic Church. 

“Magdasal ka na sa isang Diyos, magdasal ka pa dito sa santong yawa. Isa lang ang Diyos. (You’re already praying at one God, then you’re going to pray at these cursed saints. There’s only one God.) There’s only one God, period. You cannot divide God into 3, that’s silly,” said the President.

Before attacking the Holy Trinity doctrine, Duterte said Jesus Christ is “unimpressive” because he had allowed himself to be nailed on the cross. 

“‘Yong Diyos mo, pinako sa krus. Tangina. Nakakawala ng bilib. Ako ang Diyos, tapos ipako mo ako? Putangina. Sabihin ko, ‘Lightning, ubusin mo ito. Sunugin mo lahat ng mga erehes,’” said Duterte.  

(Your God was nailed on the cross. Fuck. How unimpressive. I’m God and you will crucify me? Motherfucker. I’d tell them, ‘Lightning, finish all of them. Burn all the non-believers.’)

The passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is among the central doctrines of Christian faith, with Christians believing that Jesus sacrificed himself to save the world from sin. (READ: Do we save Jesus or another king? – Tagle)

The President likewise belittled the belief in saints, whom he previously called as “fools” and “drunkards.” 

“‘Yong iba, ‘yong mga Santa Catalina, Santa Ana, Santo Tomas, San Sebastian, Santo Rodrigo, wala iyan… ‘Di ko nga kilala ‘yan. Look, those documents were written – if at all – 3,000 years ago. Anong pakialam nila sa buhay natin?” asked Duterte.

(Saint Catalina, Saint Anne, Saint Thomas, Saint Sebastian, Saint Rodrigo, they’re nothing… I don’t know them. Look, those documents were written – if at all – 3,000 years ago. Why would  they care about our lives now?) 

“Sino sumulat? Sino ‘yong si Santo Tomas? ’Di nga natin alam kung sino ‘yon. Baka pangalan ng baka o kamel ‘yan noon,” he added. 

(Who wrote about them? Who’s Saint Thomas? We don’t know who they are. That might even be a name for a cow or camel then.)

The President – under whose term a string of priests have been murdered – had previously stirred controversy for calling God “stupid.” 

On December 6, Duterte even joked that bishops should be “killed” for supposedly doing nothing but criticizing his administration, which is waging a bloody war against drugs that has killed thousands. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.