De Lima hits Duterte for devious effort to discredit Catholic Church

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has chided Duterte for his deliberate and devious effort to discredit institutions such as the Catholic Church which have been critical of his administration’s policy and its propensity at corrupting good Filipino values.

De Lima, the staunchest critic of the administration’s all-out war on drugs, said Duterte’s move to distribute books about alleged corruption in the Catholic Church is highly suspicious aimed at discrediting it and besmirching the reputation of its clergy.

“I find it maliciously and recklessly incendiary for a President to give out books about alleged corruption in the Catholic Church as an official gift to Filipino workers abroad. Instead of sowing hope, he opts to sow intrigues and hatred,” she said.

“It is obvious that he wants to undermine the very institution that continues to speak out against the injustices happening in this country, as well as prompt the citizenry to form negative opinions against the Church,” she added.

In a gathering with the Filipino community in Seoul, South Korea last June 3, Duterte gave the book “Altar of Secrets” to an OFW and eventually gave her a kiss on the lips which prompted criticism across social media platforms.

The book, published in 2013, supposedly revealed alleged scandals involving Filipino churchmen–from fiscal dishonesty to the breaking of the celibacy vow.

The Senator from Bicol noted that it was not the first time that Duterte promoted the book to the public, saying that the President has, in earlier public appearances, encouraged his audience to buy a copy of the book.

“Duterte is willing to go the extra mile if it means destroying the people and institutions who remain critical of his administration. If he can detain a critic like me over trumped-up illegal drug charges case, then he can definitely do anything to destroy the church,” she said.

It may be recalled that in January 2017, Duterte reportedly encouraged the families of slain police commandos to read “Altar of Secrets” to discover the alleged transgressions of Catholic bishops in the Philippines.

De Lima likewise branded as “very unpresidential” for Duterte to kiss a woman on the lips while he hands over his gift of book on stage during the said meeting with the Filipino community in Korea.

“To defend his act of machismo, Duterte referred to the kiss as something that should not be taken seriously because, according to him, it was ‘just a gimmick to make the people happy,'” she recalled.

“Kakaiba nga naman talaga ang mga ‘gimmick’ ni Duterte na lantarang nagpapakita ng pambabastos sa babae. Ang nakakabahala pa dito ay tila ikinakatuwa pa ito ng mga supporters niya. Sickening!” she added.

As such, the Senator from Bicol reminded the public “to stop tolerating Duterte’s series of attacks on women and some members of the Catholic Church and start standing up for what is right and just.”

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