Duterte challenges bishops, priests to take on drug problem: Says I can be 'extra-decent'

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte had his share of criticism on the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country in connection to his war against drugs — and he has had enough.

In a speech in Cabanatuan on Wednesday, he challenged bishops and priests to take on the country's drug problem.

"I can be an extra-decent person. All I have to do is raise my hands and (say) I will not do anything that is a sin against God," Duterte said.

"Pati ang Diyos kung galit sa akin, you are invited to come down. Oh, Jesus Christ, kayong mga bishops, sige inyo na 'yan," he added while gesturing handing over a thick document which, Duterte said, contains the names of barangay captains, mayors, police officers and generals involved in the illegal drug operations in the country.

[Translation: If God is angry with me, you are invited to come down. Jesus Christ, and you bishops, I'll give it to you.]

He also said even human rights advocates are welcome to bring forward a solution to end the problem, once and for all.

"Kung sino 'yung wise na cardinal, o bishop o pari o human rights [advocate], puro listahan yan… Try to sort out a solution for this problem," the President said. [Whoever cardinal, bishop, or human rights advocate is wise enough, here's the list. Try to sort out a solution for this problem.]

The President said he's dumbfounded by the enormity of the drug problem, and the church should know how rampant shabu is on the streets.

"Hindi ko maintindihan talaga ang simbahan. Alam nila e. Alam nila kung gaano kalala. Kaya dapat ang ibang pari kailangan mag shabu para maintindihan nila," he said. "I recommend one or two of the bishops. Sa kanila walang shabu pero asawa meron. Pareho lang kami."

[Translation: I really can't understand the Church. They know it. They know how deep the problem is. I think some priests should take shabu so they would understand. I recommend (it to) one or two of the bishops. There's no shabu for them, but they have wives. We're just the same.]

Duterte went on and said the church should be able to address its issues, and be equal on how it treats its followers.

"May isang film about homosexuality of priests, pinipigilan nila. Bakit mo pipigilan? When you expose the frailties of your faithful, you are free to shout in the pulpit. But kung kayo, exempted. Anong klase yan?"

[Translation: There's a film about homosexuality of priests, they're forbidding it from being shown. Why ban it? When you expose the frailties of your faithful, you are free to shout in the pulpit. But if it's about you, you're exempted. What's that?]

The President added, he was able to see a bird's eye view how huge the drug problem is when he took office. He said he's quite convinced that the country has been under narco-politics in at least three years.

"Four million Filipinos, all reduced to slavery. I will rot in prison for the Filipino, I have no problem with that," Duterte said.

He said his task as President is God-given, and he plans to accomplish it by the end of his term.

"The killing, it will not stop, believe me. Until the last pusher is out of the streets," he said. "It's either I come out with my mission accomplished or I go out of Presidency in shame."

Watch: PNP: Crime lab reaching limits due to drug war

Duterte said killings happen because drug addicts, with their drug-induced minds tend to fight back when arrested — and building a case against them just takes too long.

After meeting and lecturing mayors linked to the illegal drug trade last week, the President will meet with governors in Malacanang on Thursday for the same purpose.

Martial Law will happen if...

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar earlier complained about media reports quoting the President's remarks about declaring martial law. Andanar said the reports were incorrect and were the "height of journalistic irresponsibility".

But this afternoon, President Duterte did it again, warning Filipinos on national television about the possibility of declaring martial law.

Also read: Andanar clarifies Duterte's statement on martial law

This time around, the President qualified his statement — it's not something he intends to do, but would still do if there's a need for it.

"Basta ako [As for me] it is not found in the Constitution... But if I feel as a President, that I have to preserve my country, I will declare martial law," the President said, even receiving an applause from the audience.

"I will not declare martial law. And kung magdeclare ako ng martial law, hindi ako magiingay, [If I declare martial law, I won't make noise]" said Duterte.

Watch: Lawmakers react to Duterte's martial law remark

The President also pointed out that while the military is right in saying there is no basis to declare martial law at present, there's a looming threat that could push him to do so.

"Ngayon iba na ang storya, the ISIS has contaminated Mindanao," Duterte said. [The story is different now, the ISIS has contaminated Mindanao.

Duterte said he's focused on protecting the interests of the public no matter the cost.

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this report.