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Philippines’ Duterte says ‘sons of b*****s’ bishops should be allowed boyfriends as ‘most’ are gay in foul-mouthed rant

‘They should come out in the open, cancel celibacy’

Zamira Rahim
Friday 11 January 2019 18:55 GMT
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Rodrigo Duterte came to power in June 2016
Rodrigo Duterte came to power in June 2016 (Getty)

Philippines’ president Rodrigo Duterte has attacked the country’s Catholic bishops in a furious speech, as his war on drugs attracts increasing criticism from the church.

“Only I can say bishops are sons of b*****s, damn you. That is true,” the controversial leader said in remarks delivered during a groundbreaking ceremony for a school north of Manila.

“Most of them are gay,” he said. “They should come out in the open, cancel celibacy and allow them to have boyfriends.”

Mr Duterte did not mention any particular reason for his criticism of the church but has previously called God “stupid” and described the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as “silly”.

Some sectors of the church have become increasingly vocal about his crackdown on drugs, with calls for justice and offers of sanctuary to drug users.

Around 5,000 people have been killed in shootouts with the police during Mr Duterte’s bloody campaign, which began when he came to power in June 2016.

He remains hugely popular in the Philippines but doubts are growing about his approach to drugs.

Police have rejected accusations the killings were executions.

Authorities maintain that officers acted in self defence and claim that drug dealers and users died in shootouts.

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The Catholic Church is facing clerical sexual abuse scandals in various parts of the world, although there have been no major cases in the Philippines where around 80 per cent of the population are Roman Catholic.

Francis Lucas, an official with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, attempted to play down the president’s criticism.

“We have to be more sensitive to the sensitivities and sensibilities of others out of respect,” he said.

Mr Duterte is not a regular churchgoer.

Additional reporting by agencies

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