MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez questioned a recent survey showing a slump in the satisfaction ratings for President Rodrigo Duterte, even as he worried that the poll results could be used to destabilize the administration.
At the same time, Alvarez again lashed out at the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, slamming church leaders for criticizing the government, particularly on extrajudicial killings, while supposedly ignoring what he called immorality within the ranks of the clergy.
In a news conference, Alvarez said the questions asked by the Social Weather Stations in its third quarter survey should be examined carefully.
“Unang-una, ano ba iyong tanong? Pangalawa, saang areas ba siya (Duterte) bumaba (First of all, what was the question? Second, in which areas did his ratings go down)?” he said of the survey, which showed Duterte’s net satisfaction rating plunging by 18 points to a “good” +48 from June’s +66.
“Tingnan natin kung wala bang slant ito, o hindi ba ito nagagamit para sabihin na bumaba ang tiwala kay (Let’s see if there isn’t a slant here, or if this isn’t being used to say trust has gone down for) President Duterte,” Alvarez said.
Asked if he thinks the survey results could be used to destabilize Duterte, he said it was “possible” and then made an example of the CBCP, “putak nang putak. May challenge pa sila, kapal ng mukha (they keep cackling. They even have a challenge, they’re shameless).”
He slammed the bishops for not addressing the issue of sexual abuse by priests.
“Mga minor pinapatulan, ang dami nila … mga pedophiles, ayusin muna nila iyong hanay nila bago sila putak nang putak laban sa gobyerno (They prey on minors, so many of them … are pedophiles, let them clean up their ranks before criticizing government),” he said.
He added that instead of homilies against the war on drugs, “bakit hindi sermunan iyong mga pari na ang daming ginagawang kabulastugan (why not direct the sermons on sinful priests)?”