President Rodrigo Duterte, in his two years of leading the country, relentlessly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and of course other churches in the Philippines.
He offends the churches to divert attention from very important issues.
As the Filipino nation observes All Saints and All Souls Day by remembering their departed loved ones and usually by visiting them in their final resting places, he called himself “Santo Rodrigo” in another attempt to draw the attention of the public to him rather than to the indignation of the people about recent woes of the country, such as the massacre of nine peasants in Sagay, Negros Occidental; the recent boo-boos of his police officers (rape of the daughter of a drug suspect to absolve drug offenses, club drug use of a junior police officer, oral sex hazing scandal in the academy, etc.), continuing corruption in the Bureau of Customs and now the ‘military junta’ in government agency following P 11 billion shabu shipment that was able to enter the country and out into the streets. And latest of all, the deportation of Sr. Patricia Fox, an Australian missionary nun who had served the Filipinos, especially the poor people for 27 years.
On Thursday, November 1, during the situation briefing in Isabela province after the onslaught of Typhoon Rosita (Yutu) in Northern Luzon, Duterte said in a mix of English and Filipino:
Duterte uttered words that are blasphemous.
Blasphemous words are used by Duterte to excuse himself from accountability of the sins committed by his regime.
People must remember the Duterte’s blasphemous words.
He said: “Who is this stupid God? Estupido talaga itong p***** i** kung ganun. You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work. How can you rationalize a god…maniwala ka?”
But, Duterte called God “stupid” in June 2018 to divert the attention of the people from the brunt of the TRAIN Law. By calling God “stupid,” the attention of the people and the Philippine churches focused on Duterte’s blasphemous statements rather than condemning the exorbitant taxes imposed by Duterte’s ruthless regime.
As early as October 2016, Duterte talked about “sexual abuses” of priests to sway the attention of the people and launch an offensive against the Philippine churches who are condemning the extrajudicial killings, especially in Duterte’s war on drugs (that has claimed the lives, recorded as ‘deaths under investigation’ of more than 23,000 by June 2018), all-out war (more than 13 massacres since he became president) and Martial law in Mindanao.
Duterte, until now, calls the Church as “full of shit,” accusing bishops of corruption and womanizing. By attacking the Churches, church leaders will be placed on defensive mode.
Other churches, like the Iglesia Filipina Independiente and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, were vilified as equal to New People’s Army or NPA on the last week of September to cover up the growing discontentment of the people with the insufferable price hikes brought about inflation due to TRAIN that legitimizes their struggle to unite and let Duterte to step down or be ousted.
In the days of old, most common punishment for blasphemers was capital punishment through hanging or stoning, justified by the words of Leviticus 24:13–16. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name of God, shall be put to death.
Is Duterte immune from this punishment? He may not be punished through hanging and stoning, but he cannot run away from the wrath of God with his crimes against the people. He has the people’s blood in his hands.
Yes, he called himself “Santo Rodrigo” for now because no one can stop him in calling himself “santo.” But the people are aware that he is talking nonsense. He is talking of his near demise and he is hoping to be called “santo” just to boost himself or to be excused of his crimes.
The pain of the punishment will be executed by the people.
In Moses’ time, the assembly will punish the blasphemer.
In the Philippines, the people will punish the sinner. They did it to Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada. They will also punish Duterte who committed so many crimes against the people, including at least among them blasphemy.