By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he has “deep and abiding” faith in God.
The President made the remarks in a speech delivered in Pasay City during the celebration of the 120-year existence of the Baptist churches in the Philippines.
Duterte said he has the courage to visit war-torn areas like Jolo, Sulu, and Marawi, Lanao del Sur because he knows that God is with him and will protect him from any harm.
“I have deep and abiding faith in God. You see me in Jolo, you see me going to war in Marawi. Well, it’s not about bravery. It’s about faith in God,” the Chief Executive said.
“With the adversities we are facing both here and abroad, we are called, now more than ever, to stand together in faith, prayer and unity,” he added.
Duterte has been criticized for his previous anti-Catholic remarks.
But in a speech delivered before the Baptists, Duterte expressed appreciation over the works of the Creator.
“This universal thing, it’s controlled, it cannot be possible without God. If you watch the billions and millions and billions of stars, even how big the space is, the fact that it survived almost four or five billion years,” he said.
“God must have said that His Creation must be there. Almost five billion and nothing happened,” Duterte added.
Help gov’t achieve ‘strong, progressive’ PH
Meanwhile, the President lauded the Baptist churches’ efforts to promote a “fruitful Christian way of life among Filipinos.”
He also thanked them for their success to spread God’s message of “love, hope and faith.”
Duterte expressed hope that Baptist churches would also help his administration in achieving its goal of having a “strong and progressive Philippines.”
“By always seeking to express God’s love in the pursuit of justice, righteous governance, progress and prosperity for all Filipinos, you have enabled our people to see fulfillment and purpose in your fellowship,” he said.
“Let us, therefore, work with renewed fervor and hope in bringing forth a strong and progressive Philippines for the benefit of the next generations,” Duterte added. (PNA)