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Archbishop Villegas hits ‘fake news’

Archbishop Villegas hits ‘fake news’

Archbishop Socrates Villegas (CBCPNews)

MANILA — Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan has denied a newspaper report that he criticized President Rodrigo Duterte in his New Year homily.

The archbishop described the Manila Times report titled “Duterte no protector of Filipinos – Archbishop Villegas” as ‘fake’ and was deliberately manufactured.

“This is fake news!” Archbishop Villegas said. “Please be truthful. Do not use the Church to spread lies.”

The report claimed that in his homily at the Dagupan Cathedral on Dec. 31, the archbishop supposedly said that in pushing for the revival of the death penalty, Duterte will be killing people, especially the poor.

Although the Church is firm against the capital punishment, Villegas said the article was a “completely fabricated lie.”

“This was not the homily at the cathedral last December 31,” he clarified, as the article triggered vicious attacks against him by Duterte’s online supporters.

This is not the first time that Villegas and some other bishops have been victimized by fake news and deceptive memes that angered Duterte’s sympathizers. CBCPNews