MANILA -- Amid concerns raised by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle that priests have been receiving death threats from persons claiming to be working for the Presidential family, President Rodrigo R. Duterte warned impostors to lay off or face him.
Duterte made this remark during the campaign rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino � Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Cebu City on Sunday night.
Either Muslims or Christians, they had nothing to do with us. Do not do it. Do not try to do it. Religious [leaders] has nothing to do with the vagaries of life. Lay off! Stop threatening them or ako ang makalaban ninyo (you'll have to face me), Duterte said.
The President cautioned impostors using his name and urged them to leave religious leaders alone since they have nothing to do with politics.
Oras na galawin ninyo ang mga madre o pari o Imam wag niyo silang galawin (The moment you touch nuns, priests, or Imamdon't touch them). Those are religious people, he added.
During the event, Duterte read to the public the message he received from Tagle about some priests receiving death threats.
Good day po, greetings from Rome. I was informed that Bishop David and some priests got death threats from someone claiming to be working for the President's family. Just to let you know, baka may naninira (Perhaps someone is trying to damage the President's reputation). Thanks, we pray, Tagle's message read.
Tagle is in Rome to attend the recently-concluded four-day Vatican summit on sex abuse by priests.
Duterte said former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Bong Go has also assured Tagle that the administration had no hand in sending these death threats.
Wala pong ganun Cardinal. Salamat (There is no such thing, Cardinal. Thank you). Just to let you know that there are persons using the name of the President and his family, Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Duterte reiterated accomplishments halfway through his term including a "harsher" drug war.
The President also thanked Cebuanos for helping him garner more than a million votes in the 2016 presidential election and urged them to support PDP-Laban's candidates in the mid-term elections.
Source: Philippines News Agency