Duterte calls Catholic's Holy Trinity 'silly'

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President Rodrigo Duterte. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 30) — The President is not letting up on his attacks against the Catholic faith. This time, he called the concept of the Holy Trinity "silly."

"There's only one God, period. You cannot divide God into three. That's silly," President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech before farmers in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato Saturday.

He also questioned why Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross.

"Iyong mga Kristiyano minsan, sinasabi ko, ma-ano masiyado --- 'yung paano ka maka-concentrate na 'yung Diyos mo pinako sa cross?" he added.

[Translation: Christians, sometimes, I tell you, they are too -- how can they concentrate with their God nailed to the cross?]

The President, who has a knack of "shaking the tree" with his comments, reiterated in his belief that there is only one God.

"You review the tapes. Wala naman akong sinabing walang Diyos. Kaya sabi ko… My God --- demonic ako ganun. Tapos magmisa, 'O sana mamatay si Duterte.' Tapos sabihin ko magganti ako, 'O 'yan lahat ng obispo ninyo patayin ninyo 'yan." Magalit. Kayo naga-una tapos magganti ako," the President said.

[Translation: I didn't say that there's no God. That's why I said... My God -- I'm demonic like that. Then during the mass, they'd say 'I wish Dutere will die. Then I'll say I'll take revenge 'You kill all your bishops.' They got angry. You started it and I just retaliated.]

"Iyan ang mahirap sa pari. Kasi sila ang tama, kami --- tayo ang mali. Eh mahirap 'yan [That's the problem with priests. They are right, we are wrong. That's difficult]," Duterte said.

He then asked his staff about a book, "Saan na 'yung… Iyong mga libro? Ilan libro mo dala? [Where are the books? How many books did you bring?]"

Talking again to the audience, Duterte said, "Basahin lang ninyo. Kayong mga Katoliko basahin lang ninyo. Wala akong sinasabi. Basahin ninyo tapos… Iyan ang mahirap sa kanila."

[Translation: You just read it. You Catholics, just read it. I'm not saying anything. Just read it, finish. That's the problem about them.]

He presented a copy of the book Altar of Secrets and gave it to someone he called "Shirley" among the audience, saying, "Next time magkita tayo [let's meet] ma'am, tell me kung what do you think. Nandiyan lahat [Everything is there]."

During some of his speeches, the President had been distributing copies of the book, which he said is "bestseller" written by a Filipino "commentator" of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

Duterte's remarks have resulted in his strained ties with the Catholic church. He has also slammed clergymen, citing anecdotes of sexual abuse and child abuse among priests' ranks.