Duterte on 500th year of Christianity in PHL rites: Why would I celebrate arrival of Spanish

“I was asked for a commemoration for the 500 years since they arrived here. I answered: Why would I celebrate the arrival of the Spanish here? Why would I?” President Rodrigo Duterte stated during the groundbreaking ceremony and time capsule laying for the Naga Permanent Housing Project at Balili Lot, Brgy. Tinaan, Naga City, Cebu.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is preparing for the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines which will be in 2021.

“When Magellan arrived there, he brought with him cannons and a cross. So we became Christians. We didn’t have a religion back then,” President Duterte said. “But because they brought the cross, religion, cannons and guns, the natives yielded. They were scared. Yet some were already collecting vast lands. They are called the haciendero. But the time has come for you to give those lands away.”

“You know, they came to this country as imperialist. We are not Spanish and they subjugated us for 300 years. That’s painful for me. Then they gave the lands to the Insulares, the Spanish who did not go back to Spain. That is why landowners are mestizo,” Duterte stated.

“Those lands have been land reformed already. But what they did was they gave away the lands and then bought them back again from the tenants. That’s what angers me,” he added.