A CATHOLIC bishop has challenged Malacañang to identify church leaders, whom they are accusing of working with communist rebels to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo dared Presidential spokesman Harry Roque to prove his claim that certain Catholic leaders are conniving with the insurgents to destabilize the government.
“He should name names. (Otherwise) He is just spreading rumors. That is not responsible reporting. This one way of spreading false news,” Pabillo said.
Asked why Malacañang has repeatedly made such claims, the bishop said it only shows the “insecurity” of the Duterte administration.
“That only shows how insecure they are. They are so blinded by their fears and their bias that they cannot see their mistakes. They deflect on others their inefficiencies,” he said.
Roque, who is also part of the four-member committee tasked to hold dialogues with religious leaders following Duterte’s “stupid” God rant, said that the church’s criticisms began “when their candidate lost in the elections”.
“Maybe many of them do not accept the President so it’s not farfetched to say they could unite with the CPP-NPA to oust President Duterte,” he claimed.
Pastor Boy Saycon, also a member of the Malacañang panel, was quoted saying that some church people are trying to destabilize the government.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has strongly denied an alleged plot to undermine Duterte.
“It is just a fabrication that came out of somewhere. It cannot come from the church. I can assure you of that,” said Bishop Rey Evangelista of Imus, head of the conference’s public affairs body.
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