- Cebu Archbishop praised President Duterte after their closed-door meeting
- He described Duterte as simple, easy to talk with and not scary at all
- He also called on the CBCP to give Duterte the benefit of the doubt and quit criticizing him
MANILA, Philippines – Revered Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal had nothing but praises for President Rodrigo Duterte after they met in a closed-door meeting in Malacañang Palace’s Music Room.
In an interview after their meeting, Vidal described Duterte as someone who is simple, amiable, and not scary at all.
“Simpleng tao, madaling kausapin, hindi ka matatakot,” the 85-year-old cardinal told ABS-CBN.
[He’s a simple man, easy to talk with, and you won’t be scared.]
Aside from praising Duterte, the prelate also told the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to give the new president the benefit of the doubt and quit making negative comments about him as he has only been president for two weeks.
He also urged the CBCP to make a stand against illegal drugs; noting that it has become a danger to society and families.
According to Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM), the meeting between Vidal and Duterte – which was also attended by Supreme Court Associate Justice Catral Mendoza -was very candid but cordial.
“Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza, who accompanied President Duterte in the courtesy call, said that Cardinal Vidal assured the President that he will pray for him and the country’s success,” the station said.
RTVM also released a short clip of Duterte shaking Vidal’s hand before taking his hand in the traditional “pagmamano” as a gesture of respect.
Duterte had been engaged in a word war with Catholic Church officials wary of his campaign against drugs. In turn, the president has accused Church officials of accepting bribes from corrupt politicians and criminals.