Unite country, show integrity in final year, Duterte urged

Unite country, show integrity in final year, Duterte urged

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the House of the Representatives in Quezon city on July 26, 2021. SCREENSHOT/RTVM

By CBCP News

July 26, 2021

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic bishop urged President Rodrigo Duterte to use his remaining time in office in uniting the nation and bring back decency to public service.

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, national director of Caritas Philippines, said it’s time for Duterte to prove once and for all that he is the “father of the nation”.

“It won’t make any difference now to the lives of the Filipino people even if he gives marching orders to pass his priority legislations, or even to retract his socio-economic policies,” Bagaforo said.

“It will matter, however, if, at least, for what remains of his term, he will show decency and integrity,” he pointed out.

Fr. Antonio Labiao, executive secretary of the national Caritas, echoed the bishop’s statement and urged Duterte to be a unifying leader, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

With less than a year left, he said that Duterte “needs to focus his energy in uniting the country as we still grapple from the devastating effects of the pandemic.”

“We urge the President to take a time off from bravado and profanities,” Labiao added.

The church leaders made the call as Duterte delivered his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on Monday.

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