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Duterte’s anti-Church stance: It’s about time

It’s about time that somebody of national stature had the balls to criticize the Catholic Church, as President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has done.

I had criticized Duterte vehemently in my columns before the elections because I not only disagreed with but detested his declared disregard for human life, even if such life is that of a suspected criminal. But I support him totally in his criticisms of the Catholic Church, that it has been one of the most hypocritical institutions in the country.

The election itself demonstrated that ours, after all, really isn’t a Christian nation, and that the Church has failed in instilling one of its most important teachings – reverence for life – among its faithful. If the Church were just even barely successful in doing so, Duterte wouldn’t have won the presidency with his declared plan to kill criminals where they stand without due process. (Whether this rhetoric will turn out to be just his brilliant political and propaganda strategy or he really believes that adopting such a policy may work on a national scale, we will have to wait and see.)

While the Church has failed to instill its prime teaching about the value of human life among its members, it has been extremely successful in serving the Philippine oligarchy since the Spanish era, allowing them to sleep soundly at night with the thought that with their huge donations and display of obeisance to the Church, they have VIP entrance passes to the Kingdom of Heaven in the next life.

Indeed, the Church for most Filipinos is really the Deity’s embassy in this land, where the masses apply for visas to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Catholic Church’s history has been in service of conquerors. Las Islas de las Filipinas had not been as attractive as Mexico, Peru and other Latin American countries for the Spanish crown to send troops to, and expend its dwindling funds.

A Spanish-era church: Both a house of gods and a fortress
A Spanish-era church: Both a house of gods and a fortress

The colony had become notorious for its typhoons, as a 17th century priest described it: “These occur very often and we suffer so much, that even after experiencing them, it is difficult to believe these can happen.” And the most important disincentive for a full-blown Spanish colonization, gold – the main reason why the conquistadores and adventurers invaded Latin America – could not be found here.

There wasn’t even the weakest rumor of an El Dorado, the City of Gold, and agricultural exploitation through the encomienda system wasn’t too profitable (before the advent of the sugar industry). The Spanish Crown naturally found it difficult to justify the deployment of troops in this god-forsaken colony, and only the most adventurous (or desperate) such as the Basques dared to travel to this farthest outpost of the Empire.

Less than 2,000 troops
One estimate is that at the height of the Spanish rule in the mid-18th century, there were fewer than 5,000 Spaniards (half of whom were clergy) all over the archipelago and less than 2,000 troops, were concentrated in Manila. Such a small military presence here was the reason why Spain couldn’t really wage war to conquer the Muslims in the South, and, really, why Filipino revolutionaries could have easily defeated them if the US had not intervened.

So how did Spain manage to control the indio population with such small military presence? First was through the cooptation of the ruling elites, who were given the nice title of gobernadorcillos.

And second, Spanish rule was so easily imposed because the Catholic Church and its missionaries managed to convert the indios with their unsophisticated tribal, mostly animistic, religions into Christianity and to convince them their obeisance to the Spanish Crown was a requirement of the faith.

Why were the indios so easily converted? As was the case all over the world where the West colonized the native population, they thought the Spaniards’ superior technology – their armor and muskets, as well as the unbelievable huge galleons that arrived in Manila – was an indication of Christianity’s superiority. Or perhaps, the friars’ promise of a wonderful, magical place that awaited them when they die was more attractive than the indios’ vague notions of an afterlife in their animistic tribal religions.

It was also during this time that the various Catholic orders were competing among each other to proselytize in the Philippines, to convert enough indios or forcibly recruit them to join them in proselytizing people in what was then known to be the largest pagan nation that needed to be brought to Christ: China

What stood as a very fitting symbol for what the Church really was in that period were the Spanish-era churches. Visit one church and you’d wonder: Why are they so massive, and built like fortresses?

One reason they were made that way was to convince the churchgoing indios who lived in nipa huts that such gargantuan structures were inhabited by divine beings, i.e., Jesus Christ, (the Goddess) Virgin Mary, and the other lesser gods, the saints.

The Church as a fortress
The other reason is that those churches were, in fact, built as fortresses – the “Keep” – in that word’s usage in the Lord of the Rings, which refers to the strongest part of a castle that acts as a final refuge. Such Hispanic churches’ doors were huge and nearly impregnable; the windows were placed so high up on the walls, like those in European medieval castles.

They were, of course, military installations run by the clergy and the Spanish guardia civil. The faithful would escape to take shelter in them in the early periods of Spanish colonization when Muslim pirates would occasionally raid the towns. It was also the keep for the Spaniards and their local lackeys to escape into, in cases of the indios’ revolt.

One thing about these churches that hasn’t been studied in detail: How were they built? Were the indios forced to provide manual labor upon pain of death, and their families? The strength of these churches has also been due to the fact that egg whites were mixed with lime to create the strong mortar that has lasted for a century. How many indios were deprived of their protein requirements because the Spanish required them to surrender so many eggs?

Think about it: In the 18th and 19th centuries, when the exploitive hacendero and landlord, as well as political bossism systems were at their height in the entire archipelago, and when the oligarchs started to entrench themselves here, had the Catholic Church as an institution spoken against such exploitation? Has it ever been at the forefront of social reform movements?

The Church’s power over the Filipino mind has been such that other than the University of the Philippines, its educational institutions such as the Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle University and the University of Santo Tomas, have been molding the minds of the elite for decades – teaching them the most sophisticated ways to justify their classes’ exploitation of the peasants and working class. It is certainly not coincidental that the Ateneo has been one of biggest fans of the hacendero-cacique rule of Benigno Aquino 3rd.

Of course, there were a few brave priests, such as Fr. Jose Decena, who in the early 1970s exposed the horrors of the cicada system in Negros sugar plantations. There were also those converted into the Latin American type of liberation theology who were easily recruited into the Communist Party, such as Duterte’s adviser Jun Evasco and the NDF’s chief negotiator, Luis Jalandoni.

But on the whole, the Catholic hierarchy, together with parish priests and the elites, made up a single ruling class as they did in medieval Europe. The Church helped justify and even conceal the landlord class’s exploitation of the peasants, and kept them in tow with threats of fire and brimstone if they challenged the status quo. The landlord class, on the other hand, donated lands and gold to the Church, and provided it with its armed protection.

In our history, there has only been one major critique of the Church that electrified the nation: That by Rizal through his Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Since then, there has neither been a writer nor a leader who ever dared to cross the Church as defiantly as Rizal did. If Duterte’s tirades against the Church are authentic, I’m certainly all for him in that struggle.


This Post Has 93 Comments

  1. Carlo de Leon

    Mr. Tiglao, I recommend that you use the “Philippine Church” instead if using the “The Church” in general. The usage is more precise since the local hierarchy of the Philippine Catholic Church as you are referring to acts differently from the Universal Church is as far as composition is concerned.

    “…Strictly speaking, the CBCP is not the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church is not the CBCP. The former is the collective leadership of the Church (i.e. the local hierarchy), while the latter is the bigger whole (i.e. local Church under the said leadership). Furthermore, the CBCP is the collegial body of bishops belonging to the Catholic Church in the Philippines; thus it is not “the” (universal) Church insofar as “composition” is concerned. Secondly, though the CBCP is not “the” Church but the collective body of bishops who are shepherds of the people, it still represents the Philippine Church…”

    Source: (Rhoderick John S. Abellanosa, The CBCP and Philippine Politics: 2005 and After, Asia-Pacific Social Science Review 8:1 (2008), pp. 73-88).

    1. Arthur Soller

      The Mayor was specific in calling out “the prelates and the clergy”. The Church can silence its critics by instituting reforms to it. It won’t happen; the leaders refuse to listen to Pope Francis’ simple language.

      This piece is very informative, and written superbly.

  2. Alex Umali

    JESUITA m. Jesuit ; hypocrite (colloquial) p.337 Cuyá’s Spanish Dictionary Español al Inglés / Inglés al Español

    JESUIT s. intrigante p.282 Cuyá’s Spanish Dictionary Español al Inglés / Inglés al Español

    ¡ Saludos, Señor Tiglao ! Es tiempo para acabar la denominación católica instutucional sobre la vida filipina. Aquí en Filipinas, los obispos viven en la vida llena de lujos. Es distinto en América latina donde muchos sacerdotes murieron para los oprimidos a decir Arnulfo Romero (El Salvador), Gaspar Laviana (Nicaragua) Camilo Torres (Colombia) y Conrado de la Cruz (Filipinas). Los soldados le secuestaron padre de la Cruz en una manifestación el primer de mayo, 1980 en la ciudad Guatemala. Se queda desaparecido.

  3. Nanette Antequisa

    The government that we have is a reflection of ourselves, dahil tayo din naglagay sa kanila ng kapangyarihan during election, pwera kay Marcos during Martial Law dahil kanyang sariling decision yon at the expense of the right of the Filipino people na pumili ng mamuno at magpalakad ng bansa.

    Kung ano mang relihiyon kinabibilangan ng bawat isa ay kagustuhan natin yon, pwera na lang sa mga sanggol at bata na wala pang kakayahan magdesisyon at nakasunod pa lang sa kinagisnang mga magulang.

    Ang gobyerno at simbahan ay dalawang napakamakapangyarihang institusyon na naghubog sa bawat mamamayan dahil kahit sabihin pa natingmay “separation of church and state’ dapat, pero ang katotohanan, pwera lang sa mga atheist at ayaw mabilang sa isang simbahan, pareho pa din ang sineserbisyon ng dalawang makapangyarihang institusyon na ito na siyang siyang may malaking papel sa paghubog ng pagkatao at pag-iisip ng bawat Pilipino.

    Kaya hindi ko maisip bakit nagtuturuan ang dalawang institusyon na kung bakit tayo ay ganito ngayon. Ako ay nagtataka din kumbakit isinisisi naman ng mamamayan ang kanyang kalagayan sa mga ito samantalang sila naman ang nagbigay ng kapangyarihan sa mga institusyong ito.

    Alam naman nating lahat na tayo ay mga tao lamang at nagkakamali din ngunit may kakayanan din naman na ituwid ang ating mga pagkakamali. Dahil ba sa hindi natin matanggap ang katotohanan na tayo ang may likha ng ating kalagayan kaya pilit nating isinisisi sa iba?

    Kung may pagkakamali man ang mga lider ng Kotolikong simbahan, hindi ba’t meron ding pagkakamali mga lider ng gobyerno? At kung may pagkakamali man, di ba’t may maraming ding nagawang kabutihan hindi lang ang simbahan pati na rin ang gobyerno? Pero kung may nagawa mang kabutihan ang dalawa alam nating lahat ito ay hindi perfecto at proseso ding natututo sa kamalian?

    At hindi ba’t hindi lang Katolikong simbahan ang may kamalian kundi lahat ng simbahan dahil lahat ay pinapatakbo ng mga tao lamang? Kung ang block voting nga ng INC ay kinokonsente na kung tingnan ay parang vote buying in massive scale, bakit ang pag-eedukar ng Katoliko sa kanyang simbahan sa mga dapat na criteria sa pagpili nga iboboto sang-ayon sa kanyang teachings ay naging napakalaking isyu at naging sanhi ng pag-atake sa kanyang mga kahinaan? Dahil ba naging threat ang simbahan sa estado kaya ito aatakehin at pag pabor all praises nito?

    At dahil ba may mga kamalian ang isang simbahan, titingnan na natin na wala nang ibang pag-asa ang sambayanan kundi ang isa o iilang tao na lang na makapangyarihan na sa tingin natin kayang maliitin, murahin o wasakin ang mga institusyon na sa tingin natin hindi huwaran ng ating mga pagkatao?

    Baka nakalimutan natin na tayo ay bahagi at siyang nagbigay ng kapangyarihan sa mga institusyong ito na sa bawat kahinaan at katatagan, nagawa at hindi nagawa, tayo ay kaparte nito. So baka kailangan muna nating magsalamin lahat bago natin husgahan ang mga institusyon ng ating lipunan.

  4. pebles

    DUTERTE is very vocal.Jesus is not my religion, He is my saviour..Panahon na tulungan natin si DUTERTE na kontrahin ang lahat pati CATHOLIC para sa ikabubuti ng mamayang PILIPINO..

  5. Mandy

    “They were, of course, military installations run by the clergy and the Spanish guardia civil. The faithful would escape to take shelter in them in the early periods of Spanish colonization when Muslim pirates would occasionally raid the towns”.
    It would be fair, unbiased and complementary narrative if we lay bare the rationale behind the Muslim raid of Christianized natives of Visayas and southern parts of Luzon. I read on Muslim historians books that such raids were a retaliatory attack in response to the Indios proclivity to ride on the invasive bandwagon of the Spanish intruders.
    “the Muslim warriors led by Datu Shilongan and Datu Shalli, launched an offensive retaliatory attack against Spanish outposts in Panay, Cebu and Negros. Another group led by Datu Thanggla headed for Mindoro, Koyo and Kalamianis islands. Many Christianized natives were taken captives in retaliation for their alliance with the foreign invaders”.
    The Spanish military might not be in large numbers but the Visayan natives were behind them in trouncing the army of Rajah Sulaiman of Manila. Thereafter, the combined forces of Visayan and Luzon forces served as a buttress to the Spanish army in invading Mindanao. With the Muslim impregnability throughout the over 3 centuries relentless attacks, the Spanish colonial government branded the Muslims as pirates to sow hatred and enmity among the Christianized natives towards their brethren in Mindanao.

  6. jlo

    ang mga bulag at ang mga nag bubublag-bulagan will be offended… as they are many…

  7. ajel

    Useless article. You failed to see the good side of the Church. So pessimistic.

    1. ws

      so anong naiambag na mabuti ng simbahan?

    2. Nanette Antequisa

      Ang naiambag ng simbahan? Marami man mga mali nagawa ang mga kaparian at mga obispo dahil tao lang din po, wag din natin sana kalimutan ang malaking role ng simbahan sa pagpabagsak ng diktadoryang rehimeng Marcos, pagtulong ng simbahan sa mga mamamayan panahon ng sakuna, pagtulog sa mga mahihirap, magpapalaganap ng pananaw para sa kapayapaan sa Mindanao with its active dialogue of life and faith, among others.

    3. Godfrey

      Church established the first universities and hospitals in the country. she brought technology in agriculture and farming. tiglao omits this even if he was a beneficiary of that same school system. who is the hypocrite now?

  8. Restituto Ramos

    Another man infected by the false tenets and lies of the Revolution. Here is an article that perpetrates the Black Legend against Spain and the Catholic Church. He tries to make sense of how a handful of Spaniards were able to colonize and Christianize the Philippines. He is oblivious to the action of the grace of God and His divine plans for the archipelagic nation. Has it ever occured to this cynical writer how the indigenous inhabitants of various islands, warring tribes, ethnicity, regions and primitive culture became civilized and united to become Filipinos? Isn’t it no other than the influence of the Church?
    Here he fails to distinguished (as many do) the indifectibility of the Catholic Church from the errors and faults of some of the human elements within Her fold.

    1. florentinofiel fiel

      I think the point here is that this article from the point of view of the writer is to give us the other side of the picture and he has valid points. What is important here to analyze and think critically, how the positive side of the history can be a useful learning tool in developing our country through shaping the mind of young and future generation, identify the barriers and find interventions to mitigate the negative results.

      I think further, Du30″s act against the church must be dealth properly with the church leaders and members and learn from Du30’s point of view to improve. I agree with the view of Cardinal Tagle to listen and reflect what was went wrong and what to do rather than engage in word war. Big mistake for Bishop Cruz and Villegas bringing as if the voice of the church….We are now in the 21st century, we must move on work together towards one direction, the church and the state must go hand in hand. The church has its own mandate to fulfill the same for the state…

  9. Prinze Fisher

    Mr. Tiglao, are you implying a revolution against the 1% elite (who’s religion is CAPITALISM), and some leaders of the Catholic Church? You will expect my full support if you lead?

  10. alex garter

    Are comments heavily censored?

    What religion does the author suggest? Atheism? Paganism? The cult of death to criminals?

    Duterte was sexually abused as a child, it may play role in his hatred, but nothing good comes out of hatred.

    Duterte personal experiences don’t mean we also should accept his hatred. Other churches are not necessarily better, maybe even more questionable because of 10% income obligatory donations as in the case of INC.

    People choose to believe in what they want to. No one forces them.

    What is really dangerous, that the author didn’t support Duterte, and now he demonstrates his loyality, even as noone forced him as those forced confessions in Iran or North Korea. It looks like many people are now scared. Hopefully the Philippines will not now become like North Korea with the omnipotent dear leader.
    It is also something the moderator should take into account when he will not allow this comment.

    1. Mel Ocampo

      10% obligatory donations in INC. Are sure about that? What are your basis.? maybe hearsays.. isa kang tsismosong tipaklong

    2. Godfrey

      you know that duterete was abused, because he said so? where’s the evidence? the priest he accuses is dead and can’t defend himself against the allegations. Utak talangka talaga ang mga pinoy

  11. alex garter

    Are comments heavily censored?

    What religion does the author suggest? Atheism? Paganism? The cult of death to criminals?

    Duterte was sexually abused as a child, it may play role in his hatred, but nothing good comes out of hatred.

    Duterte personal experiences don’t mean we also should accept his hatred. Other churches are not necessarily better, maybe even more questionable because of 10% income obligatory donations as in the case of INC.

    People choose to believe in what they want to. No one forces them.

    What is really dangerous, that the author didn’t support Duterte, and now he demonstrate his loyality, even as noone forced him as those forced confessions in Iran or North Korea. It looks like many people are now scared. Hopefully the Philippines will not become like North Korea with the omnipotent dear leader.

    It is also something the moderator should take into account when he will not allow this comment.

  12. alex garter

    Are comments heavily censored?

    What religion the author suggest? Atheism? Paganism? The cult of death to criminals?

    Duterte was sexually abused as a child, it may play role in his hatred, but nothing good comes out of hatred.

    Duterte personal experiences doesn’t mean we also should adopt his hatred. Other churches are not necessarily better, maybe even more questionable because of 10% income obligatory donations as in the case of INC.

    People choose to believe in what they want to. No one forces them.

  13. ???

    You’re angry at the Catholic Church for not preventing a Duterte victory, but you’re now supporting Duterte for sharing your abhorence of the Church? Okay.

  14. stephen kirk

    I am so pleased to see such anti RCC sentiment,they are a morally corrupt institution that has no place outside the Vatican,education of the masses may be a harder proposition.

  15. Julio

    Totally agree with you Sir. Catholic leaders have been meddling and dipping their hands with government affairs since time in memorial. Look what happened to us? Its really about time that someone as high as a president take a stand to implement what is just and right without being beholden to this idiots who happens to be major stockholders. Shame on you Bishops, priest

  16. SuePa

    yes, the Philippines is not already a Christian Country at all, though there are still Christians here, dominantly they are recognizing Mary, the mother of Jesus, as the MEDIATOR where in the BIBLE it is Christ the only MEDIATOR of the people.. they really failed to teach the Biblical way rather on their own Malicious, Hypocrite minds.. sorry..,,

  17. luke caros

    The Catholic hypocrites are now looking for their flocks to go against our Mayor Duterte since this is the only President-elect that have the balls to tell them in the open about their IMMORALITIES!
    Our national hero did it so thru his Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo…now it’s TIME that somebody say it PUBLICLY…If it’s God’s WILL…So Mote IT Be.

  18. umbertus

    cool move from Mr. President Duterte. it’s about time that we have a president who does not heed the beck and call of these “religious” men. the separation of church and state should be defined and enforced. let’s these “prayle” talk their talk on their churches, and not to meddle in the affairs of the state, lest they want the government to exact taxation from them being a “religious” corporation. dapat nga busisiin na AMLAC kung saan napupunta ang koleksyon ng simbahan (sa pagkakaalam ko sa Vatican Bank, e ‘di ba money laundering na rin yun, at isa yun kung bakit naghihirap ang Pilipinas – money drain)

  19. Frank A. Tucker

    AMAZING article, AMAZING comments, may God bless you and the Philippines with a Holy revival far beyond and above the RCC !

    1. Garry Anderson

      Frank there is no God & the church is the most corrupt of all of the corrupt in the Philippines

  20. jm

    Using corporate setting as a metaphor: If it is normal to see / read / learn in society, including the church itself, of characteristics ranging from petty crimes (or even just lascivious acts) by average citizens to big-time plundering / corruption by government authorities, with these as “KPIs” (key performance indicators), the church CANNOT claim that it has been successful in its task of being the moral guardians and “lecturers”. That said, then why?…What so useless, inept?…On what moral ground do they stand on to pontificate? If the church doesn’t see these as their KPIs, then what is?

  21. Maria stevens

    Of course the Catholic Church is a greedy and totally useless organization founded on a myth just like every other religion….time to consign it to the garbage tip of history.

    1. ws

      what can you expect to an organization with the greedy motives?

  22. DAKILA

    Dumating sa Isla natin yan mga Espanol na katoliko, walang wala yan kundi KRUSIFIX AT BIBLIA. Tayo noon ang mga pag aari ng mga kalupaan. Ngayon, nasa mga Espanol at mga katolikong pari ang mga kalupaan, at nasa atin mga mamayan nayon ang KRUS na atin pinapasan at ang Biblia.

  23. Ram Basingan

    “That by Rizal through his Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Since then, there has neither been a writer nor a leader who ever dared to cross the Church as defiantly as Rizal did.” Include the letter of Rizal to the women of Malolos, in it Rizal said to compare the rotten teaching of the church with the teachings of Christ which is focus on love.

  24. tob alik

    the speck in another person’s eyes, and the log in their own eyes.
    who were the object of Christ’s chastisement in his sermon?
    they were priests and pharisees and saducees;
    it was true then, it is true now;
    rody is right on the point about the hypocrisy of religion;
    and its relevance and effectiveness;
    consider this:
    ph is 80% catholic;
    most of its leaders were born and raised as one;
    many of them graduated from catholic schools/universities;
    and yet,
    it is one of the most corrupt countries of the world;
    lying, bribery, vote-buying, cheating is normal up to the
    highest govt officials; i.e. noykapon, mar, butch, proce, voltz, alan, etc.
    even the catholic church itself practices corruption;
    like having different fees for ordinary and special prayers and services;
    in effect favoring those with money from those without;
    me think,
    catholicism is moribund;
    when a country like ireland which is 90+% catholic
    overwhelmingly approved same-sex marriage perversion in a referendum,
    what does that tell you?

  25. Romeo

    Guess who voted a Leader who espouses Killing …..then blame it on the Church.

    1. Pablo A. Dublin

      “Guess who voted a Leader who espouses Killing …..then blame it on the Church.” Romeo, read the above essay again; if needed, twice. You have completely missed the logic. You may then repost a comment.

  26. SAM


    1. rigoberto

      FYI I am not a member of the INC nor any religious organization. I love dinuguan in fact.

    2. j

      that’s the usual excuses of the hypocrites. . . .if somebody criticise the Roman Catholic church, they retaliate because for them it is a form of attacking their faith. . . .mind you, i am a Catholic and i hate hypocrisy within the catholic church. . . .the RCC is a big failure! . . .don’t attack me of my opinion because i don’t really care for all I know, only God will save me, not you, not the priests, bishops, etc. . .

    3. pande coco

      The christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.-Friedrich Nietzsche

    4. juaquin

      Yes its right to impose the separation of church and the state. Nice article Mr tiglao.

    5. jaime o.de vera

      My religion is being RELIGIOUS everyday in words & actions. As they say,”Do not do unto others what you do not what others do unto you.”


      Wow, just because he exposes the truth about the Catholic Church, this writer is automatically an INC? It’s natural to defend your church but to accuse without proof is dangerous. It doesn’t help that you just showed disdain towards the INC when not provoked–should I say then that that’s so Catholic of you? Did Mr. Tiglao just write this column without research? Open your mind even if the truth hurts, it can do your heart good.

    7. elizabeth churchill-ylagan

      Disclosure: I grew up with devoted Roman Catholic grandparents on my father’s side and Protestant grandparents on my mother’s side. I am now an Evangelical Christian. Why I’m not Roman Catholic? You have to study history books to open your eyes. POPE PIUS V’s BULL AGAINST QUEEN ELIZABETH I OF ENGLAND, MARTIN LUTHER’S PROTEST FOR SELLING INDULGENCES, POPE URBAN II STARTED THE CRUSADES and so on. BUT THE BIGGEST LIE IS “NO SALVATION OUTSIDE THE ROMAN CHURCH. THIS IS THE MOST ENSLAVING DOCTRINE WHICH SADLY MOST FILIPINOS EMBRACED.
      When the Spaniards came to the Philippines, Protestantism is sweeping Europe so the Roman Church did what they can no longer do to Europe, enslave us by misrepresenting the Cross. SALVATION IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALONE (Not by any religious institutions and other deities invented by Roman Catholic) AND HE CAME TO SET US FREE. Read the Bible. True, there are erring pastors, deacons and other church leaders and workers among evangelical communities and we deal with them accordingly, not tolerate them. And believe me, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PASTORS AND CHURCH LEADERS FALLEN FROM GRACE. Those churches are most likely to dissolve. Remember Jim Bakker? Since our loyalty is not to pastors or religious institutions we can leave the church if we see that they are no longer living a godly life and look for a local church that is closest to Biblical teachings and its leaders are faithful to Biblical teachings…until. No matter what, God will not judge us by our religious institutions affiliation.

    8. mayee

      i think bayarang writer po yang si tiglao.. i never like his way of writing..agree po ako.. he can be one of the demon roaming around.. is he an athiest or a buddhist.. well there is no hint of goodness in his scary face.

  27. Hermen

    “It’s about time”? One sense: At last! Another sense: “time” in the historical sense. In the first sense, vindictiveness in the indio’s crabbiness is finally given “freedom of expression”. That freedom of expression is a much appreciated freedom nowadays to underscore the obvious historical absence of such freedom over much of ANY nation’s history. Now that we take it for granted, we speak of 1521 onwards to the 1890’s (Jose Rizal’s time) as if “freedom of expression” was a matter of fact. That includes especially the columnist who should know better. Digong who takes refuge in the “freedom of expression” can say anything. By the same token, any official of the Church should be accorded the same freedom — especially religious freedom.

    That is right. It is about “time” that netizens realize that the 21st century does not confer on us the right to look down on the people of past centuries when they had their own “life situations”. Sure it is ego-boosting to boast of our “progress”. But that is about all it is. Emptiness. Absence of historical perspective. “Life is but a walking shadow. A poor player struts and frets his (time) upon the stage (of history) and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” Shakespeare is timeless.

  28. Westsea Leng

    The HOLINESS of the church is missing.. The teachings of the church nowadays is more about politics than biblical teachings. So I guess, that incoming President Duterte is only trying to alarm the Philippine church administers that it will loose the sense of church and it’s million devotees if they (church ministers) failed to interpret the biblical teachings of church, what christianity is all about, its word and its act.
    Church ministers, please be more holy.

  29. ex tee

    It’s truly high time!

  30. yourreader

    For 2,000 years, Satan has miserably failed to destroy the Church that Jesus Christ founded: the One, Holy , Apostolic ,Catholic Church. He will shake it, he will cause some members to leave because of scandal but if the institution is Divine do you think it will collapse (“..the gates of Hell will not prevail against it”).The Catholic Church is a Divine Institution with sinful human members. As one catholic convert put it ” The Church is a hospital for sinners”. Its purpose is to heal so we can be saved. God is sovereign, he can use sinners, lay or clergy, to extend his healing hand. God bless
    Do you also think Du30 can outdo Satan? Du30 is wasting his time training his guns on the Church. If he is full of hate and anger against the Church it will work against him as it might raise Du30s blood pressure and cause more stress related health problems. we need Du30 to be healthy to finish his term otherwise he will be replaced by Daang Matuwid.

    1. vic ortizo

      where did you find “catholic” on the foundation of the church? which interpretation of the bible can i find “catholic”?

    2. Ms.D

      Sorry but you can NEVER read “Holy Apostolic Catholic Church” in the Bible. See it for yourself.

      However, we can clearly read that God commanded us not to kneel or worship other gods, images etc. w/c the catholic church is teaching. Who then is satan’s work man?

  31. Amnata Pundit

    Will God really bestow His Blessings through this Church whose hands are stained with the blood of the people she is supposed to minister to? The language of truth is plain, simple and unadorned says the bible. Duterte should use government resources to expose the inconsistencies, incoherence and just plain absence of logic in the false teachings of the Church and we are on our way to liberation. Kung sila mahilig maki-alam sa gobyerno, di ang gobyerno dapat puede din na maki-alam sa kanila, di ba?

    1. ???

      “di ang gobyerno dapat puwede din makialam sa kanila…” See the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association

  32. Mon Dragon

    Majority of the Roman Church’s religious practices and teachings are geared to obtain money to enrich the Church hierarchy and the bishops. Name them all, and you will know that they are money making schemes. These religious practices which governed the birth till the death of the faithful, are associated with money making. All of them are done for money. All at the expense of the name of God and the bible.

    1. George F Guillermo

      Totally agree which make poor people at the mercy of the Catholic Hierarcy where their hard earned money makes the Priests richer in the midst of widespread poverty. Priests openly disobeyed the word of God (Bible) which says Spiritual knowledge/services and/or blessings which comes FREE from God should also be given FREE to those in need. They are the one “corrupting” the word or command of God by making money or business out of it.

  33. arthur keefe

    The church has a right to its views, but then so do others. The approach to take is to insist on the complete separation of Church (all churches) and the state. Taxation concessions should be ended, and the church treated like any other voluntary organization. Although a matter for the church itself, it should democratize its processes and structures so that when it speaks, it represents the views of its members.

  34. justin

    The clergy have plenty of creed but lacking in economic fervor. Christianity, like the religion we practice today is not suitable for the Philippines and many South American countries. Look at the poverty and corruption !

  35. Rizalito David


    Dear Mr. Duterte:

    We are decent people. We follow the law. We respect the rights of other people. We are well aware of our rights and our responsibilities as citizens of this nation. We love peace and we promote it. We respect our women and our elderly. We love life and our family. We love our faith. In the same way we follow the laws of men, we are guided by the laws of God. We love our Church. And we likewise love our shepherds. We are Christians. We are faithful Catholics.

    We are having difficulty understanding why you find it hard to be magnanimous in your supposed victory. We cannot understand why you try so hard and continue to invite contempt instead of forging goodwill. We cannot fathom why instead of inspiring people to come together in unity you seem to find happiness in further dividing the nation. We are perplexed with how you make statements that you hardly mean and laugh over some people’s mistake on taking these seriously. We are puzzled over the way you lay down your policies that we find lacking in rhyme and reason. We are baffled that you seem to find your lack of statesmanship merely as a form of entertainment, to amuse your audience. We are bewildered why you find joy in taunting people and threatening them. We wonder if you find satisfaction in your curses and rants and in how you try to humiliate people who may not agree with what you say. We are mystified with how you make stupid and bastards out of people particularly those who already support you. We are distressed why you keep on bashing our Church. We are angered by the way you unreasonably treat and disrespect the leaders of our Church.

    We are decent and responsible citizens and as such, while we did not vote for you, we will respect the sentiments of the minority who voted for you. We believe that you know that there deficiencies with our selection process. You will be proclaimed as president of this country even if only 1 out of 3 people chose you. We are sure that you will not claim otherwise and will not make any mistake about this fact.

    Allow us then to make a few decent suggestions which we hope you will consider.

    Henceforth, try to be magnanimous as it will not make you less of a man. Try to forge goodwill, a friend to all and an enemy to none, as this will make you respectable. Try to be inclusive and unite all of your people as this is your path to success as president. Try to deal with us more seriously and never fail to mean everything that you say as this may make more people love you more. Try to be consistent, comprehensive yet concise when you lay down your policies as this will be our guide in supporting and moving with you towards our common desires. We look at you as our father now and as such please be a good model for everyone to follow. Do not entertain us as we will instead entertain you with every applause we will send your way for every success that you will make that favors the least of us. Kindly refrain from threatening people, humiliating them and instead inspire them to change and follow the law as instilling fear and shame are never sustainable ways of keeping the order and the peace that we all crave for. Please help us to minister our people towards an enlightened citizenship, educated, empowered and enabled as we all address the common good. All these will not lessen your person but instead bestow more honor in you.

    Lastly, as we have said, we are faithful Catholics and we will appreciate it very much if you stop hitting and maligning our Church as it is not merely us that you are hurting but God Himself as well. The Catholic Church as you very well know is the only Church that was established by Jesus Christ Himself. Respecting our faith is the least that you can do. Further, it will do all of us a lot of good if you desist from disrespecting our shepherds. They are not sinless. They are imperfect. They are not beyond faults as we all are. But then again, they are our fathers too. And we will always be one with them. In much the same way as we defend our only Faith, so will we defend them as well.

    We are open to work with you, dialogue and forge a consensus on how to deal with the issues and problems we are all facing. We are not unreasonable. We see reason as indispensable in forging a common vision and direction. We strike the same court. And we wish you well.

    With assurances of our highest esteem, we remain,

    Sincerely yours in Christ,

    Your faithful Catholic constituents

    1. Abe Villanueva

      I totally agree with R. David. Any reasonable and loving human being should be in the same page with Mr. David’s open letter to Pres Elect Duterte.

    2. Alex

      You are definitely out of track. I just hate priests who do not practice what they preach.

  36. Rudi Miranda

    Congratulations Bobi, and thank you! Btw, a Butuan historian about the ‘Masawa’ first landing of Magellan, not Li masawa, as written by Blair and Robertson, has finally found the cross which Magellan planted, and beneath the cross buried underground is a leather dabbed in oil and in it is the last will and testament of Magellan which says that if there’s gold and whatever, it should be given to his eldest son, Rodrigo, in Portugal, as inheritance. Ferdinand Magellan knew where to find gold and Masawa or Butuan have plenty of it, as described by the Venetian historian Pigafetta: “the gold were as big as ostrich eggs.” The principal objective voyage of Magellan was really to search for gold for the wars in Europe primarily against Protestant countries like England. The conversion of the indios into the Spanish Xn religion is only secondary, thus the oppression and exploitation, sadly, until now. Digong Duterte should be supported by all Filipinos. Right on!

    1. rigoberto

      Wow! Can you refer me where I can get that acccount by the Butuan historian?

  37. verllorente

    Mr. Tiglao.
    If you are not a Catholic yourself, I could understand your note in the picture which says “A Spanish-era church: Both a house of gods and a fortress”. Because you are one of the millions who misunderstood our religion.

    For your information, the Catholic Church teachings do not recognize “gods” as what you and other non-catholics and catholic-haters try to show.

    If you hate the Catholic Church, let that not be your justification to spread mis-information. I hope you try to be a professional journalist.

    Thank you.

    1. rigoberto

      You just call them “saints”, by the Catholic Encyclopeida’s listing 10,000. More than the 2000 gods and goddesses in greek and roman mythology. The “saints” powers are those of gods and goddesses in greek mythology.

  38. Kurokuro lang

    I agree! It is about time to let these hypocrites know that good old days are over. With the incoming president blasting these people with out reservations, i believe we found the right one. No regrets casting my vote to him and to bbm. I hope this serves a reminder to all padre damasos out there.

    1. nimrod

      Welcome back Mr. Tiglao, Agree 200%, its about time a ,modern day Rizal blast these hypocites for what they are …..


    Most Bishops are heretics of the entrench rich Elite Oligarchy. Vipers salivating for gold of the rich. In return the Bishops protects the Elite Oligarchs by cajoling the believers not to revolt against the thieving rich Elites. Bishop Villegas and Tagle are lapdogs of BS Aquino’s LP Oligarchy.

  40. Maninistis

    “Too much of a good thing”, this Christianity. Halo-halo is nice, but if that is all I eat 3 times a day……..lechon baboy is nicer, but……
    A country is a complex adoptive system. It works with consequences. It does not ignore consequences. If you forgive and forget a wrong, the next generation reacts accordingly. “No one went to prison, so it was not really wrong – let me try it”. God did not forgive Adam and Eve, or Cain for that matter. Adam, Eve and Cain NEVER forgot the wrong that they did. God saw to that-He punished them. Christ would forgive and forget the wrong. And that is what Christianity teaches.
    The greatest problem is that Filipinos act like the entire Phil is a monastery or convent, and the occupants should react in their predicted religious fashion. They will forgive and forget a wrong, an incompetent, a_____(fill in the blank).
    But it is not a religious system. It is a complex adoptive system, and consequences, both intentional and unintentional are what govern the behavior of a complex adoptive system. – Ignore crime and someone else is elected president.
    Until we place the consequences above the religious/cultural values, we are going to continue down this road. Until we seek out the consequences, both intended and unintended, desirable and undesirable, and stop ignoring them, we will continue….


    I agree with you on this. Further, all churches specially the Catholic church should be taxed!

    1. nimrod

      The bishops too. Perhaps also require them to file SALN’s?

    2. lourdes cepeda

      yes, they should be taxed. actually they are living a very luxurious life at the expense of their members’ donation… church leaders pastor, ministers of other denomination ( except for some) lived a very simple life..which means, they just depend on their members tithing every Sunday. and love gifts which do not even reached a thousand…

  42. e.p. trinidad

    You are definitely correct to all the things you said in your column. Can you imagine in our country, spanish languages was not taught by the clergy compare to south/latin american countries. The reason is ,,the clergy dont want our ancestor to understand one another, the way their thinking is let there be misunderstanding,ilocano cannot communicate with visayan and tagalog cannot communicate with our fellow zambaleno and so on. The friars at that period can sow bad feelings per say the tagalogs hate the visayan and bicolono hate the kapangpangan and the more bad mouthing that the clergy at that time does it is better for spain and catholic church. The more we stay undeducated at that time the better for the foreigner who came from spain.Glad that Dr. Rizal woke up the people of our nation.

  43. Rommel

    I’m with you Mr Tiglao.Time to reveal all the hypocrisy of the Catholic church.People should open their eyes how filipinos in early years lost their lives when they refused to join this hypocrite church.People should know how the priests all over the world molested the children’s most of them are underage.I don’t understand why filipinos are eye closed when ever this reality are being brought up.mabuhay ka President Duterte.

    1. SAM

      Hindi sarado ang mata ng mga katolikong filipino, Mas sarado ang utak mo! FAITH ang namamayani sa katolikong tunay,,yung tunay na katoliko at hindi ipokrito..Ikaw di ka ba ipokrito? Mas maraming natulong ang simbahang katoliko sa pilipinas ,kundi mo alam..at di sila namimili ng tutulungan nila,kahit ano ang paniniwala ng tao..at alam mo yan..bilang member ka ng INC, na ang tulong ninyo ay sa kapatid lang ninyo at di sa katoliko o ibang pananampalataya.

  44. Aries Miclat

    The Iglesia ni Cristo has been opposing the Catholic Church on its core doctrines that were umbilical and worst contradicts the Bible. Despite being small with only one man from its humble beginning, the Iglesia ni Cristo became successful in propagating its doctrines.

    1. Aries Miclat

      Auto correct sucks…

  45. Bobby Enc

    Thank you, Sir!

    This is the first administration where the Philippine President is only beholden to the Filipino majority.

  46. Mariano Patalinjug

    Yonkers, New York
    26 May 2016

    Nobody, but nobody, “monkeys around” with the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines–and expects to get away with it unharmed one way or the other!

    The RCC is that vengeful, and hates being criticized one way or the other least of all by anybody who professes or is known publicly to be a Christian.

    That has not kept President-elect RODRIGO DUTERTE from decorating with smelly mud the face of the Roman Catholic Church just recently in a criticism that must surely rile the RCC Hierarchy, which is not used to being criticized one way or the other. But Digong Duterte is not famous for being shy, or tame, or afraid of clerics and even criminals.

    Ditrto for Manila Times columnist RIGOBERTO D. TIGLAO who has just covered the face of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines with smelly MUD! He has just proved that he has no fear of the RCC either, but that, surely, he must at least have sympathy if not love for the Filipino people whom the Roman Catholic Church has merclessly exploited for some 440 years now!

    I say, “Kudos to both!”


    1. Lamberto

      Amen, to all what you have said. It’s about time we all filipino learn about the RCC hypocrisy.

  47. james

    This is the Rigoberto Tiglao that I used to admire. Welcome back sir.

  48. Amado P. Salvador

    It is really saddening that after the elections when supposedly it is the time to heal wounds created during the campaign, but the exchange of barbs still continues. It could have been ideal had we just reconsciled and joined hands to effect the changes most Filipinos are longing for. No doubt, should we continue with this, people will take sides. What happens then ? The Nation will get nowhere. Worst, things could even deteriorate.

    1. To the Max

      It can deteriorate rapidly because there is no unity but it can also rapidly progress because bad people and religious traditions will be remove. I still remember my history, our national hero Jose Rizal was put to death because he wrote 2 books showing the corruption of the Catholic Church. Up to now, Filipinos still follow the dogmas of the Catholic Church. We never learn our history that is why history repeats itself. Most priests are not the best person to advice us. They are controlled by Rome. A lot of priests have wives and children. If the Catholics hierarchy is transparent, they will publish the names of these priests. First of all , it is my opinion that priests can marry and have children. The apostles have families of their own. Why is it a sin to have a wife ? Does the 10 commandments restricted the lives of the priest?

  49. Rio Legaspi


    “We made a covenant with the government and that covenant is to protect us from life, liberty and security, and in return we gave them our share of labor in terms of taxes for them to fulfill the covenant.”

    “Same as the church, we gave them our covenant to guide us in our spiritual life, to show us the right path through good example, and in return we gave them something for them to survive.”

    “That covenant has been abused and about to be broken, sad but true it was the government and the church who broke the covenant. They are the one to blame for all the scandals resulting to agony of the citizenry. That is command responsibilities. If hope is to live, it is time for them to accept full responsibilities and do the cleansing process. The institution is totally tainted and its moral foundation is in question. Moral code has been poisoned.”


    “They knew what is wrong and they knew how to rectify it. The question is why they are paralyzed in doing the right thing? I got a clear answer and that is they are following a very wrong system that contradict in reality. It is like promising heaven which is unknown in real life. Our law does not address the real plight of its people, resulting to contradiction and abuses. In short our law does not synchronize with the people and you knew how important synchronization is in achieving a certain goal.”

    Government and all other institutions must learn the way to synchronize their laws policy with its people or members. It is the stabilizing factor in maintaining mutual relationship. The government is the brain and the people are the workers if they want it that way, so try to imagine a person body doing against his will? It is a chaos and sooner will result to shutdown of the whole system.

    Honestly, the government including all its institutions, the Church, the NGO’s, the business people are not synchronize, resulting to a power vacuum and if neglected, it may lead to shutting down the entire system. Even illiterate person can comprehend the analogy, how much more for the intellectuals?”


    “Immunity is the root of wrongdoings in the government, churches and other institutions. It is a one sided clause in the covenant of the people and the people leading any institutions same as in the contract between employer and employee, the contract is always one sided.”

    1. To the Max

      You forgot one very big thing. We, the Filipinos are 100 per cent to be blamed. We voted for Pnoy which was the wrong choice. We accepted the Dogmas of the Catholic Church, now we voted for Duterte. I cannot say anything on Duterte because he has not assumed office. Remember, Filipinos voted on 2 presidents that are jailed due to corruption. We voted for a dictator Marcos that made a mockery of all known laws. Please avoid blaming anybody.

  50. Rio Legaspi

    Flawed Justice System:
    by Rio Legaspi (Notes) on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 9:26am

    That is the real reason for the continuous flow of crime, corruption and injustice in the country. Judges and lawyers are crooked with no code in mind except money! No moral code, no values, no integrity to name a few. How strange and obscure they are, imagine no one has the guts to overhaul this wrong system of justice! Not God or Hell can control these people because i am very sure they don’t believe it but utter the name for self preservation and interest, except passing a very substantive and precise law that will guide and control their actions. This is common sense: Authority is subject to abuses because there is no proper stipulation and control. Most scholars forgot to think and find a way on how to explain the scope of authority that is black and white meaning a very precise explanation. I am sure the law is there, but the penalty is very weak and no matter how hard you try, you will end up in corruption! This is a very one sided situation. All government officials have immunity! That is wrong, that is unfair to ordinary citizen and because of this immunity they are bound to make abuses wholeheartedly. Lawyers has no control regarding their fees same as the doctors, businessman etc. All laws are subject to individual interpretations resulting to confusions and arguments, noticeable inside government buildings between the people asking government officials with different versions of rules and regulations! Red tape is rampant! I will be crazy mentioning all the defects of the present system and yet still no any solution. Why? Plain and simple: There will be no solution in a wrong system of governance! You can change all the departments name and personnel yet still you cannot eradicate the flawed justice because the new departments and people will follow the same flawed system! Are we crazy or playing like crazy? We been doing this flawed system for a very long time and still no one found any solution, so why are we stuck in this same old flawed system? It is the status quo, they don’t want a change because they are the benefactors they control the economy and the people, they knew your sufferings, your injustices, mixing the theories of Kant, Michiavelli, Bentham, Plato, Aristotle, J.S.Mills and other European thinkers, thinking that we are one of them! I call it colonial mentality. Who is our national thinker, do you know a Filipino philosopher, someone who’s idea is unique and with identity? The answer is none because the existing system prohibited its birth. Sad to say we are a nation with low thinkers, a nation with lots of parasites, without identity, with laws not compatible with its people. That is how flawed our system is and no one dares to change its course. “A nation survival is base on its mind that will find a way on how to utilize his environment and well being into productivity if given the chance to use their mind”. We need a change in the system because it is not totally working.

  51. ErsFrans

    Mabuhay to you then! Nothing else will liberate the Filipino people from the inefficiencies of Hispanic culture apart from overthrowing the church! Let us return to true spiritualism… The one embraced by our first ancestors whose simple beliefs made them respectful to nature, man and woman alike. Not on foreign religions imposed on us by imperialists for the purpose of making the masses shut up in compliance and comformity.

  52. claude cueni

    congratulation. I like your writing. one question: why filipinos still believe, that there is a merciful and powerfull god, that care for them. if there is a god, he is cynical and impotent. filipino people had so much to suffer since 1521, the catholic churche is worse than a tsunami for people, society and economy. why people still listen to this organisation? best wishes, claude cueni

    1. SAM


  53. supsupin

    du30 gain mileage of kudos for this stance against the church. Let this be forceful enough and revive the POPCOM vision with its own police as implementors. Give this police the legal power to castrate those who violate the 3-child rule onwards. Give this advocay a fang else all of these hyperbole are VICKS formula only (sa ilong galing). I am for one will support this..the tongue lashing of the bishops is timely; someone has to give these not-so-holy-men a sermon of their own.

  54. calixto bing oyos

    The RC church introduced by Spain in the PHL was a christo-pagan brand…simply a christianized paganism…then they controlled the government, commerce, schools, livelihoods, lands and even cemeteries coercing people to be converted by being baptized in order to avail and enjoy these privileges. They corrupted the moral and spiritual being of Filipinos by religious rituals and instilling fear of excommunication by committing mortal sin and offending religious leaders…teaching that one could commit any sin as long as he could do penances/good works and give to the church he will be forgiven…implying that if God could be bought, bribed and corrupted, who and what is man that he could not be bought, bribed and corrupted…someone observed and said that in the PHL anything and everything could be brought…the only question is : HOW MUCH….if you educate a robber, you will only produce a professional thief…most, if not all our political and government leaders are all educated and religious…then, why is our country, known as the only christian nation in the far east, is also famous as one of the most corrupt nations in the world? THE MOST INFLUENTIAL CORRUPTORS OF THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF FILIPINOS ARE THE CORRUPT SPIRITUAL AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS AS WELL AS EDITORIAL AND OPINION WRITERS. (MATT. 12:30-37)…we need more than just education of the brain…more than just changing the system and bureaucracy, we need a spiritual transformation of the heart which the source and seat of graft and corruption…JOHN 8;42-47; MARK 7:1-23; John 1:12-13; 3:3, 5, 7, 16-21, 36; 4:22-24; 14:6; 1 JOHN 5:9-13

    1. elizabeth

      They said that our brand of Catholicism is very different from other countries like American Catholics. Ours is “super paganized”. Sto Ninos are only in the Philippines.

  55. Gambel Nuqui Dizon

    I agree the Catholic Church in the Philippines is a failed institution. It belongs to the Oligarch Class of the country while the majority that they Shepherd are the poorest of the poor in the country.

    1. SAM


    2. Alizel

      @ Sam : Kung isa kang Katoliko, maganda ang ginagawa mo na sinusumpa mo ang kapwa tayo mo lol. Pagpalain ka sana ng dyos mo. Malamang may reward ka pagpunta mo ng langit.

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