Sotto won’t give up on mission to mediate between Duterte, Catholic church

Published January 18, 2019, 1:20 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola 

Senate President Vicente Sotto III refused to be discouraged from pursuing his plan to mediate between President Duterte and leaders of the Catholic Church.

Sotto on Friday commented on the statements made by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who, despite wishing him “good luck,” said his plan to hold a dialogue between the Chief Executive and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will end in vain.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senate President Vicente Sotto III (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Thank you for wishing me luck. Better to try than never. I don’t give up that easily,” Sotto said in text message to reporters.

The Senate leader maintained that he was keen on pursuing the reconciliation of the two sides. He earlier said he will formally communicate with CBCP officials and Duterte to understand their respective perspectives.

Trillanes, on Thursday, expressed doubts that the intended Duterte-Church dialogue would be successful.

He believed it would end up like other failed attempts to patch things up between the country’s top official and leaders of the Church, because Duterte, he said, was already “beyond salvation.”

“Hindi ba ilang beses na nilang sinubukan? Talagang satanista itong si Duterte, eh, wala nang magagawa doon. Nakita nyo naman pati si Jesus ininsulto na, eh. Hindi na yan, wala na magagawa dyan, beyond salvation, beyond redemption na yan,” Trillanes said in a news forum.

(Not only once has somebody tried to do this. Duterte is really a Satanist, we can’t do anything about that. You even saw that he insulted Jesus. We can’t do anything about that.)

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo immediately hit back at Trillanes for his “satanist” remark, saying the opposition lawmaker “may be referring to himself.”