Duterte on Holy Week: Serve needy, 'uphold what is good and just'

MANILA, Philippines –President Rodrigo Duterte on Good Friday, April 13 called on Filipinos to “uphold what is good and just” and serve the needy as millions in the country and around the world observed Holy Week.

“May this blessed occasion be an opportunity for prayer and reflection as we strive to uphold what is good and just. Let the spirit of this commemoration inspire us to rekindle our commitment to serve our people, especially those who are most in need,” Duterte said in his Holy Week message on Friday.

Duterte also recognized how Filipinos’ faith in God “has contributed to our resiliency as a nation.”

“Our strong faith in God has contributed to our resiliency as a nation, especially during trying times. Important occasions in our communities are usually anchored in our religious traditions, especially during this Lenten Season,” he said.

Yet the President has drawn flack for cursing at God, calling God "stupid" as he blasted the Bible’s creation story abd belief in the Holy Trinity in December 2018.

Duterte had said that Jesus Christ is “unimpressive” because he had allowed himself to be nailed on the cross. He had also repeatedly lashed out at the Catholic Church and its priests, who he said were “hypocrites” and had threatened to kill.

Facing criticism for his remarks, Duterte later apologized to his "all forgiving" God during a dinner with religious leaders in July 2018.

Despite such statements, the President on Good Friday said he trusted the virtues of faith, hope, and charity “will continue to drive all our efforts in nation-building.”

“With guidance from Christ’s sacrifice let us work towards the attainment of our noble aspirations for the nation,” Duterte said.

Holy Week is considered a sacred time in the Church, as devotees observe the events leading up to the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, and later on his resurrection. It ends on Easter Sunday, April 21. – Rappler.com


Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.