- President denied intentionally disrespecting Islam during visit to Marawi mosque
- He explained why he and other officials had to wear boots inside the mosque
- He said footwear meant to protect their feet from the debris and rubble
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he did not mean any harm or disrespect to Islam after he and several government officials wore boots inside the Grand Islamic Mosque in Marawi City.
“I respect Islam, the wearing of boots was not meant to disrespect or dishonor,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying. “Do not draw unpleasant inferences because nobody wants to dishonor a religion, me especially.”
According to the president, they were only compelled to wear footwear inside the mosque to avoid getting injured by the debris and rubble.
“Yung nakita na nila puro rubbles ang glass eh. And ano, para ka matinik? Tapos ‘pag ba na… “Ano ‘yan? Papa-tetanus ka na naman?” Makikita mo ‘yan sa floor… may IED nga doon eh… ‘Yung pressure… Maraming basag na… Gusto mo mag-tinikling ka doon?” he said.
[You will notice there were broken glasses in the rubbles. You can hurt your feet. So, you can get tetanus? You can see it on the floor… there were even IEDs there. A lot of broken… You want to dance tinikling there?]
Duterte added that getting injured in his old age is problematic especially since he heals a lot slower than younger people.
“Ayaw ko lang matinik pati ‘yung lahat. Kasi matanda na. Ang pumasok si (National Security Adviser Hermogenes) Esperon, ako, si… Alam mo kapag masugatan kaming mga matatanda na, p*****, ang tagal mag-heal,” he said.
[I just don’t want the rest of us to get our feet injured. We are old. When Esperon entered, then me… You know, when old people like us get wounded, healing process takes too long.]