Bishop belies Duterte’s ‘stealing’ charge: Sick people don’t know what they’re saying

By Eimor P. Santos, CNN Philippines

An outspoken bishop finds himself on the receiving end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s new tirades against the Catholic Church.

In a speech Thursday night, Duterte said he knows the “sins of the Bishops here,” cursing a certain Bishop “David,” whose full name he did not disclose.

“Ikaw, David, tumahimik ka ha. Sige ka lang hingi ng contribution diyan sa mga… Saan ang pera ng mga tao? Ang g*** sige lang hingi, may second collection pa,” Duterte said.

[Translation: “You, David, should shut up. You always ask for contribution… Where are the people’s money? You **** just ask, there’s even a second collection.”]

The President also claimed he has a video to prove that the bishop is pocketing the Church’s offerings.

“Alam mo totoo lang, sabihin ko sa inyo, iyong mga offerings, iyong mga pinya, mga avocado, saging, saan napupunta yan? Gusto ninyong malaman? Gusto ninyo ng video? Ibigay ko sa inyo. Doon sa pamilya niya,” he added.

[Translation: “You know the truth is, I will tell you, the offerings, the pineapple, avocado, banana, where do these go? Do you want to know? Do you want a video? I will give it to you. These go to his family.”]

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David on Friday said he has reason to believe the President was referring to him, since he is “the only Bishop ‘David’ in the CBCP (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines).”

David denied Duterte’s allegations, saying the 73-year-old President does not know what he’s saying because he’s sick. Critics have been calling for transparency regarding Duterte’s health after he admitted having several medical conditions, and disclosing in October that his medical tests turned out “negative” for cancer.

In a public Facebook post, David said, “I think he (Duterte) has confused me for someone else. You see, people who are sick sometimes do not know what they are talking about, so we should just bear with them.”

“My parents never taught me to steal,” David added.

David has been posting on social media his reactions to some of Duterte’s statements.

Early this month, David called Duterte a “very sick man” and urged Catholics to pray for the President who tagged saints as fools and drunkards.

In September, David said Duterte’s public confession that his “only sin are extrajudicial killings” should be followed by “sincere repentance” and “concrete acts of penance” so God can forgive him.

Duterte in July met with CBCP President Archbishop Romulo Valles in a one-on-one conversation, where the President vowed to stop his outbursts against God and the Church. This was supposed to be followed by Malacañang’s dialogue with the CBCP, but the date has yet to be set.

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