Duterte nixes Catholic burial rites: It won’t help

  • President said he doesn’t want Catholic burial rites when he dies
  • He asked his daughter to cremate his remains and bury him beside his parents’ graves
  • Archbishop said Catholic Church would respect Duterte’s choices

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte gave a glimpse of what would happen to his mortal remains when he passes to the afterlife.

According to Duterte, he has already instructed his daughter Sara to cremate his remains and bury his ashes next to the grave of his parents within 24 hours of his passing. He also said he won’t subscribe to funeral rites of the Catholic Church.

“I am sure that my family would offer prayers when I die. But when I die, I asked my daughter, Inday, to cremate and bury me within 24 hours without the rituals of the priests because it won’t help,” the Manila Bulletin quoted him as saying.

Duterte also took a potshot at Catholic officials, saying they would be more productive convincing people not to do drugs than criticizing him.

“That’s their job,” he said.

For his part, Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said the Catholic Church will respect the president’s wishes as a matter of right.

“It is everybody’s option to embrace the religion they think is right. That is his prerogative and therefore must be respected,” he said. “Hopefully, those who will be left behind will respect that because that would be his last wish, so to speak.”

Relations between Duterte and top-ranking Church officials have been frayed due to the government’s campaign against drugs which the latter has described as discriminatory and anti-poor.

Duterte, on the other hand, has branded the officials as hypocrites and said they have no moral ascendancy to judge him due to their members’ own indiscretions.