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Duterte: 'Is there any bishop here? I want to kick your ass'

MANILA, Philippines – "Who is from EU here? Any representative from EU? Who?"

The audience laughed – and a Caucasian-looking man eventually stood up – as President Rodrigo Duterte raised his right hand, as if looking for volunteers, in a speech at Malacañang on Tuesday, August 14. 

"You might want to take a second look at your policies," Duterte declared, as the man took his seat again.

"First of all, do not humiliate the leaders. Then you can talk to them, pay them a visit. You can talk to me here. You can call on Peter Wallace, he's my friend, he can arrange for a meeting. But you don't send here investigators to find out because that is really interference," the President said.

In another directionless speech that targeted his usual enemies, Duterte later turned to the Catholic Church. This was a month after he promised and immediately broke a "moratorium" on talking about the church.

"Is there any bishop here? I want to kick your ass," Duterte said. 

"I tell you, the most hypocritical institution in the Philippines is the Catholic Church. My statement? No. Coming from Secretary Evasco, the Cabinet Secretary," Duterte said, referring to Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, a former priest.

After calling God stupid two months ago, Duterte this time mocked San Isidro Labrador, the patron saint of farmers, as well as the Catholic practice of "assigning" a patron saint to every parish. 

"We are assigned in every parochial thing, there's something. 'Yours is San Isidro. Your saint.' And who is this shit? You know, they were nomadic tribes at that time. Nomadic. Who is this guy San Isidro that every town fiesta, we kill our cows, carabaos, just to spend because it is the fiesta of San Isidro?" Duterte said. 

Duterte detests the EU and the Catholic Church for criticizing his bloody anti-drug campaign. More than 27,800 Filipinos have died in both vigilante-style killings and police operations since Duterte took office in 2016. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. 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 pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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