• Duterte criticized faith-based opposition to government policies
  • He said the ‘creeping influence’ of faith hampers state programs
  • He was expressing his dismay with the critics of family planning

MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Church became the target again of President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest tirade; this time taking a swipe at the alleged ‘creeping influence’ of faith over the people which hinders some government programs.

Lambasting critics to the government’s family planning thrust, Duterte said that while he would not want to argue with the Church, he was dismayed by those opposing the measure on the basis of their beliefs.

“The family planning, with due respect. Ayaw ko makipag-away (I don’t want to quarrel). It has something to do with the objection of religions, not all,” Duterte said in his speech at the 31st founding anniversary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The Catholic Church has been the strongest critic of the government’s family program, specifically the artificial method of birth control, as well as the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Law.

Duterte said he will not mention the faith he was referring to because he does not want any quarrel with them.

Image from PCOO Facebook page

“That is why one of my reasons why I do not like itong [this] the creeping influence of faith is that they sometimes run counter to what government believes to be good for the people,” the President said.

Duterte has been at constant odds with the Church since assuming office in Malacañang due to his bloody war in drugs which the prelates maintain is a  violation of human rights.

Just recently, the President was under fire from the clergy and other religious groups for calling God ‘stupid’ and questioning the Bible teachings on creation and saints.

Seeking to mend broken ties, Duterte created a team to lead the dialogue between the government and leaders of the Church and other religious groups next week.