MANILA, July 25 (Mabuhay) – President Rodrigo Duterte assured on Monday his respect for the separation of Church and state amid concerns from the Catholic Church about his bloody anti-crime war and endorsement of a three-child policy.
“At this point, there are concerns, a few I wish to convey to all to the end as I figurate facts, figures, plans, programs and solutions. These concerns will not dissipate or get lost along our way,” Duterte said in his first State of the Nation Address at Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City.
“Let me assure that while I’m a stickler for the principle of separation between the Church and State, I believe quite strongly that there should never be a separation between God and State,” he added.
Duterte, whose comment over Pope Francis’ visit to the country last year drew a firestorm of protest from various sectors, had said he doesn’t begrudge the Church of its right to intervene if an issue becomes a moral one.
Catholic bishops expressed alarm over the killings of drug suspects who supposedly resisted arrest. The Church is also against artificial forms of family planning, which Duterte supports.(MNS)