President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday warned his detractors from the religious sector not to use God when criticizing him on his public remarks or policies.
"Kayong nag criticize sa akin, kayong mga religious, do not use God. Huwag niyo isali ang Diyos sa pagsaway sa akin. Kasi kapag ako sumagot, aatakehin ko ang Diyos mo kasi ginamit mo rin," said Duterte, who was in Maasin City for the founding anniversary of Southern Leyte province.
"Huwag niyo gamitin ang Diyos, pari ka man o obispo," the president further warned.
Duterte brought up his clashes with religious groups in his speech, despite his earlier promise to keep silent on matter in order to mend ties with the Catholic Church and other Christian groups.
The president was set to meet with Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines head Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles next week, as agreed upon during last Friday's meeting between Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Papal Nuncio in the Philippines Archbishop Gabriel Giordano Caccia.
Malacañang said it had "very high expectations" on the meeting, given that both Duterte and Valles hailed from Davao City.
"Hindi ko gusto makipag away kasi kausap ko ang CBCP. Ang presidente si Valles, taga Bohol yan... so mag uusap kami, nagkakaintindihan kami," Duterte said.
Duterte, amid intense criticism over the his scathing remarks against God and the teachings of Christianity, had also created a four-man committee which would dialogue with religious groups. — DVM, GMA News