Duterte plans Vatican state visit to apologize to Pope

Image from Rody Duterte's and Pope Francis' Facebook page
  • Duterte’s spokesperson Peter Laviña shared that the frontrunner candidate has plans of a Vatican state visit once he is proclaimed President of the Philippines
  • Duterte will visit the Vatican to “apologize and pray” according to his spokesperson
  • He also shared plans of visits to the US, China, Japan and Asean nations to strengthen ties

Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte is planning a state visit to the Vatican after he is proclaimed President of the Philippines; this is according to his spokesperson Peter Laviña.

As mentioned in an article published by GMA News Online, Laviña said in a text message: “Because of the traffic pope joke, he would like to visit the Vatican.”

The tough-talking mayor drew flak in his November 2015 proclamation speech when he cursed Pope Francis in jest because he was stuck in traffic for hours because of the papal visit in January 2015.

Duterte later explained that the expletive was not directed towards the Pope but for the government for its poorly planned event.

Laviña also mentioned of plans to pay a state visit to the United States, China, Japan and other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to strengthen trading and economic ties, as cited in an article published by the Inquirer.

“So definitely, if the mayor so decides to make his first official state visit, it would be within the Asean,” he said.