MANILA Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was not referring to the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte when he took a swipe at "violent, cocky kings" in his Palm Sunday sermon, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Monday.
I'm sure he (Tagle) was referring to world leaders not from this country, Panelo said in an interview with Palace reporters.
In his Palm Sunday homily at the Manila Cathedral, Tagle said the world today has kings who are full of cockiness, devoid (of) humility and use violence, arms and intimidation.
Tagle called on so-called "modern-day kings" to instead emulate Jesus Christ who does not rely on violence, in arms, in swords, in bullets and guns.
I don't think this administration feels alluded to or the leaders in this administration, Panelo responded when pressed for comment on Tagle's remarks.
Panelo said the Duterte administration has not initiated violence against people, adding that law enforcers respond only to any assault on their lives in the process of arrest.
We have not initiated violence against innocent people. And the President, always, would not tolerate any police abuse, he said.
Panelo said Duterte had in fact warned police officers that there will be a hell to pay if they violate human rights amid the government's intensified campaign against illegal drugs.
He described Duterte, a former mayor for two decades in Davao City, as "very humble" and "soft-hearted person" and defender of every citizen's rights.
So, I think, Cardinal Tagle is referring to world leaders who are violent and cocky, Panelo said.
In his own Holy Week message Sunday, Duterte urged Filipinos to reflect on the Catholic values and embody selflessness, compassion and love.
"As we put our hands together in prayer, may we use this as an opportune time to rekindle our religious fervor and cherish our time-honored traditions as a pious people," Duterte said.
The President wished the Filipino people a deeply meaningful and solemn observance of the Holy Week
"Let us take a moment to pause in the spirit of contemplation and work and unite as one people to build a truly equitable and inclusive nation where everyone can enjoy a decent and comfortable life," he said.
Source: Philippine News Agency