Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has added the Catholic church to his long list of critics, and he’s telling them to join him in hell.
Duterte has made it a mission of his presidency to rid the Philippines of drugs and the crime that comes along with it. However, his literal war on drugs has used some violent means, allegedly resulting in more than 5,000 deaths. Many, including President Obama, have decried his methods. Now, in a letter from the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, the church condemns Duterte’s actions:
“An additional cause of concern is the reign of terror in many places of the poor. Many are killed not because of drugs. Those who kill them are not brought to account.”
In response, Duterte, seemed to shrug off the Church’s letter: “You Catholics, if you believe in your priests and bishops, you stay with them. If you want to go to heaven, then go to them. Now, if you want to end drugs … I will go to hell, come join me.”
Duterte may not care, but The Independent reports that approximately 80 percent of the Philippines population (100 million) is Catholic, so the church’s words may go a long way.