Catholic officials dare Duterte: File case, tell all on alleged sex abuse

Photo Credit: InterAksyon/UCA News
  • Ranking prelates prods mayor to reveal everything
  • Duterte should file a case instead of merely talking if he’s really serious
  • Ateneo school also urges Digong to put allegations in writing

MANILA, Philippines – A day after Rodrigo Duterte claimed he and his minor classmates were sexually abused by a priest at the Ateneo de Davao University, two ranking prelates of the Catholic Church challenged the Davao City mayor to reveal everything and file a case against his abuser.

“I think he should not just let go of this like that,” Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz told GMA News. “If he’s really a reformer, he should follow through. He should not just say ‘No, let’s not go after them anymore out of pity.’ Come on, let’s not do that.”

“The Church does not condone these actions,” he continued. “Instead of talking and talking, file a case and let us see what it is all about, because otherwise if you cannot prove that then you should have kept your mouth shut.”

For his part, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo was more sympathetic towards Duterte; saying: “This happened to him a long time ago, yet he kept it to himself.”

“All of us have made mistakes, [that’s why] then he could criticize us,” he added.

Pabillo also said Duterte’s expose could help cleanse the ranks of the Church.

“We would also fix our shortcomings,” he said. “This is what Pope Francis had said, that people should come out so the matter can be investigated.”

Meanwhile, Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) told the mayor to put his allegations in writing so it can investigate his claims properly.

“Allegations about sexual abuse in the past involving a Jesuit priest would need to be made in writing to the Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus for proper investigation and appropriate response according to the protocols of the Society of Jesus for these cases,” ADDU assistant to the president Bong Eliab said.