Duterte: If There Is God…

I read the news today, oh boy!
There goes again the beloved controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, saying: “If there is God, there is no poverty.” Another theology twist. Is it?

The news writer, Julius N. Leonen, of Inquirer.net starts the writing:     President Rodrigo Duterte does not know how God actually works, but one thing is clear to him: “If there is God, then there is no poverty.”

With that premise, the imagination that will immediately form in the mind of a reader is that this sitting Philippine president does not believe in God. Unless, anybody, can tell other thing that could be in oppose to, “If the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true.”

Hence, a Filipino may ask, Is my president a no believer of God?

Inquirer.net, is my favorite news source, even after the news of alleged non-payment of accumulated rentals amounting to a Billion of Pesos, by the Daily Inquirer, on government’s Mile Long prime property, which has been exposed, by the subject president Duterte, even alleging, it is the reason, why the paper was in favor of the yellows and is against him.

On second glance of the intro, it seems, the said news is not actually, a news. It does not tell of a news story but an opinion of a supposed news story. Correct me if I am wrong but our newswriting speaker then, who was the Daily Inquirer Editor Isagani Yambot, may say, that an opinion writing, is not a news writing. It only reflects the opinion of the writer.

Read again how was the story started, “President Rodrigo Duterte ‘does not know how God actually works’ but one thing is clear to him…”

Immediately, I jumped to the last paragraphs: “If there’s no God, the earth and its inhabitants would have been already sucked into black holes.”

“He (God) controls the universe, billions and trillions. Kung walang God, magbubungguan talaga tayo, and we will be sucked to several of those black holes,” the Chief Executive said.

“And yet, we have been here on Earth for 4.5 billion years. There has to be a God,” he said. “There has to be a God. “ANG PROBLEMA, YOUR god IS NOT QUITE … I DON’T KNOW HOW HE WORKS.”

Clearly, in the last paragraphs, Duterte believes in God. But the “your god is not quite…I don’t know how he works” President Duterte was referring to THE GOD OF THE PEOPLE WHOMever he was talking to “NOT” to his (Duterte’s) God.

Duterte further said in the supposed news,

“If there is a God, then there is no poverty. If there is God, then nobody dies of hunger. If there is God, you are not refused burial services on Sundays.”

WHO REFUSED BURIAL SERVICES (if there is no money to pay)? These are the gods whom Duterte is talking about as god, the god of these people.

In the recent Cebu City speech of Duterte, he used an introduction paragraph which was an attention-getter that peaks the interest of the audience, saying, “if there is God, there is no poverty.”

I was not there in the gathering where the speech was delivered, but what I can certainly say, is that newswriting can either build or destroy, especially, how the lead was or is made.

Usually, introductions should be attention getters. And our attentions were really captured.

Duterte used what we call an intriguing introduction, wherein the people remember more, what was said earlier and not giving much attention to his ending or the concluding of his speech, where he categorically expressed, his belief of his own God, different from the god of the other who refused burial services on Sundays, which Duterte said, is a god who create wars and hell in the lives of people.

He always use semantics and this goes to different interpretations. I even think, perhaps, the Philippine President is a Bible reader. I say, because he always utter contradicting statements. Ha ha ha.



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Ricardo V. Avelino

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