Presidential spokesperson Erwin Lacierda attacked Davao City Mayor and 2016 presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte for supposedly ‘cursing’ Pope Francis. “Mayor Duterte, you can say all you want about politicians but you don’t curse my Pope Francis!” Duterte wrote on his Twitter account, while promoting the hashtag #DefendThePope.
In response to his tweet, former singer Leah Navarro commented that Duterte “is so full of himself (because) he sees fit to curse and insult politicians and now the Pope.” Navarro, a known supporter of administration standard bearer Mar Roxas, claimed that the tough-taking mayor “crossed the line.” Lacierda and Navarro are reacting to a report that Duterte ‘cursed’ the Supreme Pontiff during his formal proclamation as the standard bearer of PDP-Laban late Monday afternoon.
Before everybody else gets worked up by this manufactured outrage, the context of Duterte’s remarks must be understood in its proper context. He is relating to his supporters his experience last January of being stuck in traffic for five hours because of road closures implemented in connection to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Visit.
Mayor Duterte, you can say all you want about politicians but you don't curse my Pope Francis! #defendthepope
— Edwin Lacierda (@dawende) November 30, 2015
@dawende Duterte is so full of himself, he sees fit to curse and insult politicians and now the Pope. He crossed the line. Bastos.
— Leah Navarro (@leahnavarro) November 30, 2015
He got so irate that he conjured an imaginary scenario where he curses and tells the Argentinian pontiff to just not visit the country. Certainly many Filipinos have been cursing national and local leaders in their minds whenever they experience horrendous traffic jams.
In other words, Duterte’s only fault is that he dared uttered this in public. Well, those who’ve been following his political career knows for sure that his unvarnished personality is part of his appeal to the public. If his opponents think that this will sink his chances of becoming president, then they are delusional.
And also, if it is a mortal sin for politicians to curse in public, then Roxas should also drop out of the presidential race. Remember this scene?