DU30 ‘STILL OPEN TO DIALOGUE’ WITH BISHOPS
President Duterte is still open to talks with Catholic bishops whom he has repeatedly attacked for criticising his bloody war on drugs.
Malacañang on Monday said the President was ready to do “anything that is beneficial to the nation,” including resuming a dialogue that he initiated last year with Church leaders.
“The President is OK with all that. The President is in favor of anything that is beneficial to the nation. He’s OK with that. The President is very easy to talk to,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
Mr. Duterte sees no problem resuming talks with the bishops if they ask for another dialogue to sort out their differences, he added.
“Of course, if they ask for it, the President has no problem with that. The President will just say, ‘OK, OK,’” Panelo said.
He made the remarks following the offer of Senate President Vicente Sotto III to mediate between Mr. Duterte and the bishops.
After calling God “stupid” last year, the President created a three-man panel to hold dialogues with various religious leaders.
He vowed to stop lashing out against the Church but eventually resumed his tirades against the bishops.
The President last week told bystanders to rob and attack “rich bishops,” prompting Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes to say that such remarks were a “serious matter.”
Panelo said that dialogue might have been forgotten by those who sought it.
“Filipinos are like that. If there’s a problem, let’s talk, then after a while it is eventually forgotten, until it blows up again,” he said.
He stressed that Mr. Duterte was only defending himself from the Church’s criticism whenever he lashed out at clergymen.