Duterte urges Filipinos to ‘rekindle commitment to nation-building’ this Easter

By CNN Philippines Staff

In celebration of Easter Sunday, the President encouraged the public to be reminded of their love for their country especially that the May 2019 midterm elections are fast approaching.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he hopes Easter, a “time of new beginnings,” will inspire Filipinos to “choose what is good and uplifting.”

Christians celebrate Easter Sunday to culminate the Lenten season and to commemorate Jesus Christ’s rising from the dead.

“I trust that this season of Easter will be a blessed time for us to rekindle our shared commitment in nation-building, especially in the upcoming midterm elections,” he said. “May it become an exercise of integrity and reflect the true will of the people.”

Duterte also urged the public to cultivate peace in their families and respective communities.

“Let us strive to be instruments of peace in our families and communities and foster great harmony and understanding where and whenever it is most needed,” he said.

This comes days after the President slammed Catholic practices at the start of Holy Week. Earlier, Duterte blasted the act of attending mass, calling it “useless” since hypothetically he would commit the same sins even after asking for forgiveness.

Kaya ako hindi nagsisimba. Kasi ‘pag magsimba ako, ‘Forgive me, father, for I have killed last night three.’ Balik na naman ako kinabukasan, ‘Father, forgive me because I have killed 10 drug — drug lords.’ Eh pabalik-balik ako, bakit pa ako magpunta doon? Useless eh,” he said Tuesday.

[Translation: That is why I don’t attend mass because if I attend mass, “Forgive me, father, for I have killed last night three.” I’ll come back the next day, “Father, forgive me because I have killed 10 drug — drug lords.” I’ll go back and forth so why should I attend? It’s useless.]

He said this as he coninued to slam priests for allegedly using their pulpits to berate him.

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