TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In a dinner meeting with Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide (JILCW) Founder Bro. Eddie Villanueva on July 10, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he had apologized to God, in an apparent move to address criticism against him after he made controversial remarks calling the Lord stupid.
“Sorry, God,” Duterte was quoted as saying by Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, who was at the meeting. According to Panelo, the President also said his God was "all forgiving and all kind" and not one to "create chaos and discredit others," ABC-CBN reported.
A video clip released by the Presidential Communications Operations Office on July 11 showed that Duterte called on religious groups never to assault the administration using the name of God. "There is a separation of church and state. Do not use God to attack (the government)," he said. "That's not what God wants," reported CNN.
Duterte, known for his offhand remarks, questioned in a speech last month how God could allow Adam and Eve to ruin his "perfect" creation through eating the forbidden fruit. The President said, "Who is this stupid God?,” ABC-CBN wrote.
The tirade has since drawn criticisms from religious groups across the country, with some describing the statements as “blasphemous." A series of actions have been taken to appease the religious figures, including the creation of a panel to hold talks with Church leaders to defuse tension between the church and state.