President Rodrigo Duterte and evangelist Brother Eddie Villanueva met in Malacañang on Tuesday night after the latter expressed displeasure over the chief executive’s scathing remarks about God and teachings of Christianity.
The meeting, which lasted two and a half hours, was held at the Malago Clubhouse inside the presidential complex in Manila, according to Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
Panelo himself was present at the meeting as well as Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.
“They discussed various issues including the remarks of the President on God,” Panelo said in a text message to GMA News Online.
“The video on his remarks will be released by Malacañang. Brother Eddie was elated on the outcome of his dialogue with the President. The video is self-explanatory.”
Villanueva also led a “short prayer” for Duterte, a source privy to the meeting said.
Panelo said he arranged the meeting.
Last month, the evangelist voiced hope that President Duterte would issue a public apology for his tirade against God or else religious groups would be forced to organize a huge prayer rally.
Villanueva said the Philippines for Jesus Movement, which he leads, sent a letter to the President expressing their displeasure over his "stupid God" remark and asking him to apologize publicly not to them or any religion but to God.
Duterte refused to heed the call.
The President, however, created a four-man panel that would dialogue with the Catholic Church and other religious groups offended by his remarks about God, creation story in the Bible, and the concept of original sin.
On Monday, Duterte met with Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles during which he agreed to stop his rhetoric against the Catholic Church.
Duterte appeared to have broken his promise, as he reiterated in a speech in Clark, Pampanga on Tuesday afternoon that his critics should not use God in their attacks against his administration.
Duterte repeated his vow to resign if anyone could prove the existence of God with a selfie. He also expressed doubts on the concept of heaven and hell.
He later clarified that his remarks had nothing to do with his agreement with Valles and the moratorium would not stop him from speaking the "truth."
Pres. Duterte, Bro. Eddie Villanueva hold meeting over President’s remarks about God
4/ 5Oleh BNP Correspondent