Duterte: Kill 'useless' Catholic bishops criticizing gov't

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 5) — The President again lashed out at Catholic bishops and called them useless for criticizing his administration.

"Itong mga obispo ninyo, patayin ninyo. Walang silbi yang mga g***ng yan. All they do is criticize," President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech at an event in Malacañang on Wednesday.

[Translation: Your bishops, kill them. These b******s serve no purpose. All they do is criticize.]

In a later speech during the awarding of the country's top overseas Filipino workers (OFW), Duterte said the Catholic Church was the most hypocritical institution, and that majority of priests are gay.

"Most of the priests there are homosexuals. Almost 90 percent of you. So, do not postulate on me morality," he said.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) opted to keep mum on President Rodrigo Duterte's remarks.

"We do not want to add fuel to the fire. Our comments may just exacerbate the matter," Fr. Jerome Seciliano, Executive Secretary of the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs said in a statement Thursday.

In April 29, Cagayan priest Fr. Mark Ventura was killed while he was preparing for Sunday mass. Another priest, Fr. Richmond Nilo was shot dead in June in Nueva Ecija.

Police have said the killings were isolated.

It was not the first time Duterte lobbed strong words against the church.

In June, he drew flak for calling God "stupid."

Malacañang defended the President's comment, saying it stemmed from his experience of being molested by a priest when he was young.

However, the President has since clarified that he never claimed not to believe in God, only that his God had a lot of common sense.

CNN Philippines senior correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this report.