Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he will defy the Roman Catholic Church and seek to impose a three-child policy, putting him on a new collision course with the bishops a day after he called them “sons of whores”. “I only want three children for every family,” Duterte said in Davao City. About 80 percent of the Philippines’ 100 million population are Catholics, the largest concentration of any Asian country, who oppose abortion and contraception. He has yet to be declared the May 9 poll winner, but an unofficial vote count by an election commission-accredited watchdog showed him ahead over his four rivals, three of whom conceded defeat. Duterte assumes office on June 30.
I’m a Christian, but I’m a realist so we have to do something with our overpopulation. I will defy the opinion or the belief of the Church.
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte
Monsignor Oliver Mendoza, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Lingayen, whose head is the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the Church respected Duterte’s opinion but that it would continue to speak against government policies that are contrary to Church teaching. "Because if we fail to do that, if we close our eyes, if we close our lips, we close our ears, what will be the role of the Church?“ he said. Political analysts said they were not surprised at Duterte’s statements because some bishops spoke out against him during the election campaign. On Saturday, Duterte criticised the Church as the "most hypocritical institution”, meddling in government policies and said some bishops were enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.