Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan has denied reports that he criticized Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in his New Year homily.
The prelate said a Manila Times report titled “Duterte no protector of Filipinos – Archbishop Villegas” was “fake.”
“This is fake news,” the online news site of the bishops’ conference quoted Archbishop Villegas as saying on Jan. 4.
In his homily on Dec. 31, the archbishop supposedly said that in pushing for the revival of the death penalty, Duterte would be killing people, especially the poor.
Although the church is firm against capital punishment, the prelate said the article was a “completely fabricated lie.”
“This was not the homily at the cathedral last December 31,” he said after the article triggered attacks against him by Duterte’s online supporters.