President-elect Duterte: 'What a hypocrite society'

MANILA, Philippines – Viewed as anti-establishment, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at major institutions in the Philippines, including the media and the Catholic Church, for their supposed pretension and vested interests.

"Church, journalism, politicians, police – all! There's a veil of hypocrisy," Duterte said in a press conference late Thursday evening, June 2.

On this "veil of hypocrisy," Duterte said, "Let us unveil it, so that we can understand each other and live in a democracy that is run by truth and not by vested interests, or people who pretend."

Duterte, the outgoing mayor of Davao City, won the presidency on a platform of "change," saying he will address everyday issues supposedly neglected by the Aquino administration. 

Duterte, for one, has vowed to eradicate or suppress crime in 3 to 6 months. He has also promised to ease Metro Manila traffic.

The president-elect, however, has been criticized for human rights abuses and foul language.

Duterte hits media, Catholic Church

Reacting to these criticisms, Duterte has attacked two institutions that also serve as watchdogs: the media and the Catholic Church.

On the media, Duterte criticized "low-life journalists" who take bribes from politicians, even as he praised honest "crusaders" in the media.  

His press conference on Thursday revolved around this topic: corruption in media. But at one point, he digressed to another favorite topic of his: erring bishops and priests.

Duterte said: "It’s about time, just like the priests in this country. Just like the bishops and bullshit. Nothing is going right here. When they do it, it’s good. When they ask, even aware of the separation of the Church and State, you ask vehicles from the President, and you get an SUV, and when the excuse time comes, you say, 'It was for charity.' A luxury car for charity, my dear bishops?"

Duterte was referring to reports in 2011 that a few bishops received sports utility vehicles or SUVs from the Philippine government. The bishops said they wanted to use these vehicles for pastoral work in remote communities.  

Referring to the bishops, Duterte said, "Isa pa kayong mga putang ina (Here you go, too, you sons of a bitch)."

The Philippines' next leader added, "What a hypocrite society." –

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at