Former President Fidel V. Ramos reacted on the controversy that followed Davao City Mayor and 2016 presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte’s public cursing of Pope Francis. The 87-year-old Ramos gave his comments during an appearance in the TV show Open Mike hosted by Cebuano media personality Mike Acebedo Lopez last week.

“He’s a good friend and fellow golfer. However, let me add that I can do 35 (rounds), but he can only do 30,” Ramos joked, making a pun out of Duterte’s surname.

He then went on to express disapproval with what Duterte did: “I think wherever you are, whatever creed you may belong to, let us all pay respect to the Holy Father.”

mike acebedo lopez open mike
Former President Fidel V. Ramos and ‘Open Mike’ host Mike Acebedo Lopez

It can be remembered that Duterte inadvertently cursed Pope Francis during his proclamation speech last November 30 when he related to those in attendance how frustrated he was after being stuck in traffic in for five hours due to the vehicular rerouting scheme implemented in connection to the Papal Visit.

The former commander-in-chief nevertheless commended Duterte’s swift attempt to put the issue to rest. “We cannot over look it but I’m glad that he has immediately apologized and tried to make amends,” Ramos told Lopez. Ramos, who served as president from 1992 to 1998, also noted that Duterte utilizes a “unique approach to certain issues like crime or extracurricular activities.”

When asked about the recent decision of the Commission on Elections’ second division disqualifying Senator Grace Poe from running for president, Ramos emphasized the trendsetting nature of the case. “It is just a matter of arithmetic,” he said, referring to the contention that Poe failed to meet the ten-year residency requirement set by the 1987 Constitution for presidential candidates.

“The Supreme Court of course will be the final arbiter and since this is a very unique case, the deliberations I’m sure will be very very thorough,” he added.

Open Mike air every Wednesday with encore telecast Fridays and Mondays of the following week), at 7pm, on MyTV (Sky Cable Channel 30). Past episodes can be accessed via or through the show’s official Youtube channel.




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