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Duterte heard God's voice: Stop cursing or I'll bring plane down

MANILA, Philippines – It seems even God is concerned about President Rodrigo Duterte's flagrant cursing.

According to Duterte, God himself spoke to him on the plane ride back to Davao City from Japan on Thursday night, October 27.

Before taking questions at his arrival press conference, Duterte shared the incident with reporters.

"I was looking at the skies while I was coming over here and I just – everybody was asleep, snoring, but a voice said that, you know, 'if you don’t stop epithets, I will bring this plane down now,'" related Duterte.

"And I said, 'Who is this?' So, of course, it’s God," he continued.

Because of God's message, Duterte has made a promise.

"So, I promise God not to express slang, cuss words and everything. So you guys hear me right always because [a] promise to God is a promise to the Filipino people," he said. 

His pronouncement was greeted with applause which he waved away, apparently worried he might not live up to his promise.

"Huwag masyadong palakpak baka mapalpak pa tuloy (Don't clap too much because I might fail)," he said.

Since his days as Davao City mayor, Duterte stood out from most Filipino politicians with his fondness for cursing, colorful insults, and jokes with sexual innuendo. 

There have been mixed reactions to this, with some Filipinos appreciating his "authenticity", with others disgusted by his crudeness.

When Duterte won the 2016 elections, he promised to "behave" as president. But soon after taking his oath of office, he said he would not change his character and that no one could expect him to act like a statesman. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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