Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Friday lambasted Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas following the latter’s rant against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte in a letter to the late Jaime Cardinal Sin.
In a statement, Sara said Villegas is much worse than Duterte for failing to acknowledge the country’s problems even before her dad became the Chief Executive and for monopolizing the meaning of EDSA.
“Unfortunately for you Archbishop Villegas, this is not a biased commentary on your letter to the dead because I am not a fan of President Duterte,” she said.
“But you are truly, madly, deeply worse than a hundred President Dutertes,” she added.
Sara argued that the problems of the nation did not start during her father’s term.
The CBCP president in his letter said that the past months had been a “nightmare.”
“Oh, dear Archbishop. How dare you say that my father has singlehandedly defaced the memory of the EDSA revolution,” she said.
“Since 1986 and until seven months ago, I remember that our nation has been hounded by corruption, crime, territorial war of gangs and druglords, extrajudicial killings, narco politics, terrorism, protracted rebellion, abuse of power in government, political bickering and the entry of foreign mafias,” she added.
“It surely did not start when President Duterte took office. He won the presidency precisely because you ignored what was wrong with this world,” Sara continued.
Sara said Villegas is a hypocrite because he failed to see why the people voted for Duterte who promised to get rid of illegal drugs, crime, and corruption.
“All you desired was to put into power a leader who walks and talks like you — someone who is definitely not Rodrigo Duterte. When your friend failed as a President, I cannot remember you calling it the rape of EDSA. You just swept it under your glitzy rugs and you moved on, back to business — back to acting as if you can save us all from hell,” she said.
“Your group is sadly a bunch of delusional hypocrites. While all of you were up there riding high on your horses, you failed to notice that many of us down here empathize with what Rodrigo Duterte is saying because it is the hard truth. It is truly without the air of [hypocrisy] that we smell from your kind,” she added.
“How dare you call us pimps of the EDSA spirit and yet it is you who cannot accept what has happened to our country since 1986,” she continued.
Sara, who was seven years old during the EDSA People Power Revolution, also recalled that time when Duterte woke her up on the eve of February 25, 1986 after the Filipinos toppled the regime of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
“While we were huddled in the car, he told us, ‘Timan-i ninyo ning gabhiona ni. Ayaw ninyo kalimti [Remember this night. Do not forget this night],'” she said.
She said Duterte brought them to the San Pedro Church as crowds celebrated the successful bloodless revolution. Sara’s late grandmother, Soledad “Nanay Soling” Duterte, was one of the key figures of the anti-Marcos Yellow Friday Movement in Davao.
“My father perfectly understood what the spirit of EDSA is, otherwise, he would not have told me to never forget that night of 31 years ago. And I now believe that he understands it better than you do,” she said.
While Sara said that it is important to commemorate what the people did for the country during the EDSA People Power Revolution, she couldn’t grasp why only the elite and their friends including Villegas could define its meaning.
“I find it hard to understand why this bloodless revolution has become the standard definition of freedom for our country and this standard is forced down our throats by a certain group of individuals who think they are better than everyone else. These are the elite and their friends, including Archbishop Villegas,” she said.
“You preach about freedom as if you invented it, as if it is your gift to us. Let me tell you what freedom is. It is to live a life that is free from your selective moral standard. This is what the meaning of EDSA is,” she added. [source]