By Hannah Torregoza
Some senators on Wednesday said they were pleased to hear President Rodrigo Duterte has said “sorry” to God.
Senator Joel Villanueva, son of Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church leader Bro. Eddie Villanueva said he was happy to learn of the President’s apology, and expressed hope that the nation can now move forward.
His father had earlier met with Duterte to discuss his views on God, the Church and the Christian faith following the latter’s series of rants against God’s existence.
As to whether Duterte was sincere in his apology, Villanueva said it was only God who can judge one’s sincerity.
“I am glad that the President has apologized. Only the Lord our God can judge our sincerity,” Villanueva said in his text message to reporters.
“Moving forward, I hope the President can lead us towards greater unity and respect for one’s faith and religion and to focus all energy on policies that can uplift the nation,” added Villanueva.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson also said he can only thank God for enlightening the President to make that humble apology.
“It shouldn’t matter much if it was my God or his God he is apologizing to, because there is only one God of the universe anyway,” Lacson said.
“I know there are firm God-believers like me supporting his presidency who can now get over with the dilemma of whether or not to continue supporting his leadership. We can now move on while praying for his continued enlightenment,” he said.
Lacson noted it takes courage and character for a man to openly accept his mistake and apologize.
“This was how I knew the President in the many times that I was dealing with him when he was still mayor of Davao City,” he said.
“I am glad that at the end of the day, he is still how I’ve known him,” added Lacson.
Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, on the other hand, said he had a feeling Duterte’s meeting with the JIL leader caused the Chief Executive’s change of heart.
“I have a feeling his meeting w Bro. Eddie may have had some influence. His apology will be welcomed by many no doubt,” Angara said.
“Although there is a constitutional separation of church and state many of our countrymen hold god and their religion very close to their hearts, thus a welcome development,” he stressed.