Hours after his office released a statement calling for a "solemn" celebration of All Saints' Day, President Rodrigo Duterte once again mocked Catholics, this time for their belief in saints.
The president was about to wrap up a joint situation briefing on the effects of Typhoon Rosita in Cauayan, Isabela on Thursday when he greeted the crowd with "Happy All Saints' Day," but quickly questioned the holiday observed in the predominantly Catholic country.
"Happy All Saints'... Bakit naman... tarantado talaga itong mga Katoliko ang puta, bakit ba may All Souls' Day tapos may All Saints' Day, 'di nga natin alam ano 'yung mga santo..." he said.
"Sino 'yung mga gago na 'yun, mga lasenggo. Dito na lang kayo, I'll give you one patron, para hindi na kayo magpasyal. Get hold of a picture of mine, 'yan ang ilagay niyo sa altar, Santo Rodrigo," he added, eliciting laughter from a crowd of Cabinet members, local officials, and disaster response officers.
Minutes before this, he said everyone has "obligations to the dead." "It's practically part of the culture but more than that, it's something that's very important for us to commune with our ancestors," he said.
"It's practically part of the culture but more than that, it's something that's very important for us to commune with our ancestors," he said.
In his official statement earlier in the day, Duterte called on Filipinos to "emulate our saints."
"I call on the entire nation to honor those who have gone before us in the grace of God. Their legacy remains an important part of who were are today and we have much to gain from their virtuous example," Duterte said in his message for the public holiday.
The president has repeatedly earned ire for his remarks critical of the Christian faith. In June, he questioned the characters in the "Last Supper," where he also joked about "Santo Rodrigo."
This remark had come days after he referred to a "stupid God", questioned the story of the creation, and cast doubt on the concept of original sin. — LDF, GMA News