MANILA The Catholic bishop who described the presidency under President Rodrigo R. Duterte as a "disgrace" to the country fails to follow the teaching of Christ, MalacaAang said on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he was saddened by the remarks of Balanga, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos who called the President a disgrace after the Chief Executive urged bystanders to rob and kill bishops living in luxury.
We are sad with the remarks of Balanga, Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos that the Duterte presidency is a disgrace to the country, especially coming from a man of the cloth, Panelo said in a statement.
He called Bishop Santos' unsavory language against the President as a disgrace, acknowledging that while Duterte is imperfect, he always looks at the innate goodness of man.
What is a disgrace is when a member of the clergy uses unsavory language against President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who only fulfills and complies with his constitutional mandate to lead the government in serving the Filipinos and protecting them from what bedevils our society, Panelo said.
He said the bishop has failed to understand the importance of the Bible verse that encourages people to do good to others despite other people not doing the same.
We find it very unfortunate that Bishop Santos fails to follow the teaching of Christ that if someone throws a stone at you, throw a piece of bread at him in response, Panelo said.
Instead of lambasting the President, Panelo said Bishop Santos should pray for the President.
The good bishop of Balanga should pray for the President, the way we pray for the Bishop's enlightenment, that PRRD may run the affairs of the country well instead of lambasting him, the spokesman said.
As we repeatedly said, we are all parts of one whole, the success of President Duterte is the success of the whole nation, he added.
Panelo, meanwhile, said Bishop Santos is uninformed or ignoring the survey results that showed the President's high approval and trust ratings at 81 percent and 76 percent, respectively despite attacks hurled by his critics and detractors.
The President's most recent approval and trust ratings show that the Filipino people whom PRRD is duty-bound to serve and protect is highly appreciative of the Chief Executive and his brand of leadership, he said.
Panelo said that the President, who could have preferred retirement, instead chose to remain in office to be able to continue his war against all fronts of illegality in the country.
Earlier, he said that the President is willing to resume dialogues with Church officials after Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed openness to mediate the talk.
Sotto said he has already contacted the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) about a possible meeting with the President.
Panelo also insisted that the President respects the Christian faith and was only using figures of speech and dramatizing a point when he directed tirades at clergymen. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency