By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang reminded the people that President Duterte’s remarks should not always be taken seriously.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after the President was criticized online for blaming a priest for the collapse of a church in Barangay Ucab in Itogon, Benguet due to typhoon Ompong over the weekend.
“Alam mo, sir, sa totoo lang, kung pinalitan ninyo ‘yung pari diyan, hindi magbagsak ‘yang simbahan na ‘yan (You know what Sir, really, if you just replaced the priest there, that church would not have collapsed),” Duterte said Sunday.
“Bobo kasi itong mga pari. P***** i** (These priests are dumb. [expletive]),” he added.
In his Monday press briefing, Roque said he believes Duterte was not serious when he made the remark.
“Ang tingin ko naman po hindi naman po seryoso ang Presidente (I think the President was not serious when he said those words). Let’s not take his word always literally,” he said.
“Ang balita ko po itong structure na naguho, pag-aari pa rin ng isang (And from what I heard, the structure which collapsed is owned by a) mining company [that] is being used by United Church of Christ of the Philippines, I belong to that protestant denomination. It is not a Catholic Church,” he added.
Duterte had said in the same occasion that he would visit Itogon to check on the government’s disaster response.
However, netizens did not like the President’s recent priest joke, saying Duterte should have just expressed condolences instead of making such an “insensitive” remark.