DAVAO CITY—Mayor Rodrigo Duterte promised Catholic Church leaders here to avoid cussing during his public speeches, especially when related to church matters. He showed his seriousness when he paid P3,000 when on three occasions, he cursed local church leaders shortly after he met the archbishop here on a closed-door meeting on Friday.
“I am a Catholic and I have to obey the authorities,” he said on his regular Sunday public-affairs television program Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa, as he disclosed that some local priests he was close to had “admonished” him to slow down on his expletives.
He met Archbishop Romulo Valles of Davao City on Friday at the Archbishop’s Residence here and local newspapers reported on it on Saturday, citing an immediate payment of P3,000 to a church welfare institution Caritas Davao after he reacted to an undisclosed activity of other local church leaders.
He said he earlier promised to pay P1,000 to Caritas Davao for every curse he made as a sign of good faith.
“I am a man of words, but frankly, I have difficulty to keep it when I am agitated,” he said.
Netizens immediately reacted negatively to an expletive he made while mentioning a several-hours-long traffic jam during the pastoral visit made by Pope Francis in Manila and Tacloban.
Duterte also named a late Jesuit priest at the Ateneo de Davao Grade School as the one who molested minors during his elementary days but said he would not press charges for damages.
“Why else should I press charges? The church has no money to pay damages. And in case it would still be interested to pay me, I believe it would be done on second collection,” he said. “In that case, I would be contributing also to that.”