Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte defended President Rodrigo Duterte over calls for her father to apologize for his remarks on the origin of man, which created a stir among the Catholic Church and other religious groups.
“For me, he does not need to apologize. Should he apologize to God?” Mayor Sara asked when sought for reaction in an interview with reporters during Thursday’s 7th year remembrance of the June 28, 2011 flashflood in the city.
The mayor explained that any person has the right to share an opinion, and does not need to apologize for doing so. The President, she said, is no exemption.
“As I said, even if he is the President, he is still protected by the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression. That was his opinion,” she said.
On her personal Facebook post on Wednesday, Duterte-Carpio said that the people should not listen to the statement of her father when it comes to religion because the President is not a priest, a pastor, or an Imam.
She, however, urged people to focus on the work of the President as an elected public servant.
“Do not listen to him when he talks about God; he is not a priest, a pastor or an Imam. Besides, we have a different interpretation of the Bible, that is why there are so many religions in our country,” Duterte-Carpio said.
The President’s remarks on the creation of man in the Book of Genesis at the National ICT Summit last week drew reactions from several religious quarters. Some even called on the President to apologize.
Despite this, the President has reached out to the religious sector and formed a four-man team to dialogue with the Catholic Church and other religious groups to resolve current issues between the government and the church.
The four-man team team the President created is composed of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Commissioner Boy Saycon, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, and Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. (PNA)