After various media groups, Father Socrates Villegas, and some netizens had immediately cursed Duterte over his alleged cursing to Pope Francis, Davao City Mayor and presidentiable Rodrigo Duterte had quickly responded to the situation and issued an apology to those people who he had unintentionally offended. In his post:
In a separate interview with the iron-fisted mayor, he told: “I am expressing sadness and regret to what I said last time. My statements are not meant to offend our Pope, who had spent his time to visit us.
“If you’re thinking that I am cursing Pope Francis, why not try to remove the expletives? There you will see the whole context of what I am saying. As a matter of fact, even the Pope himself accidentally used an expletive while addressing the crowd.
“I am expecting this. They did not understand what Roxas really mean when he said, ‘If you enter the airport with contraband, then how does that become the government’s problem?’. They never realized that what he really wants to explain to us is for us to cooperate with government authorities instead of just blaming and complaining to them. Now, how much more if I will be the one speaking to the public?
“Since many do not really understand me, from now on, I will use only Bisaya or English in all my speeches. No more, no less. Most of the Bisaya people, even if they don’t want me to become president, will understand fully the context. Let the ones who believe in me translate these for those who don’t have deep understanding.
“That’s me, really. Accept me who I really am. If you’re still comfortable with the usual leaders, don’t vote for me. If you’re still finding an ideal leader, don’t vote for me. If you’re still searching for someone who is perfect or a saint, don’t vote for me. That’s simple.”
Meanwhile, another supporter of Duterte has advice to the city mayor:
“Dear Mayor, please be careful. Hope this would be the last time you will frequently use expletives in your speech. I still believe that your speech last time would not be the sole reason not to vote you.
“And please, just DuIT. As they say, less talk, less mistake. May God bless you.”
The Malacañang Palace, on the other hand, had earlier accepted his apology immediately:
“Bilang isang Katoliko siyempre maganda na humingi siya ng paumanhin…siguro magandang gesture,” Lacierda said. (As a Catholic, of course it was nice that he apologized. Perhaps, it was a good gesture.)
“Since it’s Christmas, and with the spirit of mercy and compassion, we have now forgiven the Davao City Mayor for his ‘expletive’ against the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Let’s move on now,” he added.
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Featured Image Credit: Duterte and his speech.