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Duterte asks God: let EJK victims enter heaven, reserve hell for me.

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte said victims of alleged extrajudicial killings (EJKs) during his term can enjoy their human rights in the afterlife as he claimed that he asked God to let them enter the gates of heaven.

In a speech in Bukidnon Friday, Duterte questioned the concept of heaven and hell anew as he said victims of EJKs might as well go to heaven while he can go to hell, if such place exists.

"You enjoy your human rights there in heaven kasi (because) God promised you that lahat ng (all) extrajudicial killing victims will go to heaven. 'Yan ang hiningi ko sa Diyos (That's what I asked of God)," he said.

"Kasi kaawa naman. T*** i****, magdo-droga ka tapos sa impyerno ka (Because they are pitiful. You do drugs and then you end up in hell)," he added.

According to Duterte, he asked God to let the EJK victims go to heaven and he would go to hell instead.

"Sabi ko (I said), 'God, pagbigyan mo na lang 'yan. Ako, wala akong hingiin sa akin. Reserve the hottest place in hell for me. And may I burn till eternity.' Kung naay hell (If there is hell)," he said.

Duterte then reiterated that he does not believe in the concept of heaven and hell as he thinks God will not create such to put his creations in.

"Hindi man ako maniwala na niyan (I do not believe in that). Why would --- why would God create an oven for his creation?" he said.

Duterte has earned the ire of the Catholic faithful because of his controversial remark that "God is stupid." But even though his statement received backlash, Duterte continued to issue tirades against the Catholic Church.

Later on, Duterte agreed to cease from have a ceasefire on statements with the Catholic Church after meeting with Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles.

Duterte had also formed a four-man committee to hold dialogues with the Church following his controversial remark. The committee is composed of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, and Pastor Boy Saycon.

Earlier, Roque said that it was agreed during his meeting with Papal Nuncio Gabriel Giordano Caccia that both the State and Church share the same mission of serving the people.

Duterte had also apologized to God for calling Him stupid during his meeting with evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva in Malacanang last month.

"If it's the same God, I'm sorry, that's how it is. Sorry, God. I said sorry God. If God is taken in a generic term by everybody listening then that's well and good," Duterte had said.

"I only apologize to God, nobody else. If I wronged God, he would be happy to listen. Why? Because my God is all forgiving. Why? Because God created me to be good and not bad," he added.

Duterte earlier appealed to critics in the religious sector to not use the name of God to deliver a message against him or the government as they are opening themselves to criticism.

CAPTION(S):

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the inauguration of the Northern Mindanao Wellness and Reintegration Center (NMWRC) in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon on August 3, 2018, reiterates that his campaign against illegal drugs will remain unrelenting despite the criticisms. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ MANILA BULLETIN
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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Aug 4, 2018
Words:563
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