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Duterte doing well, Church leaders say

Church leaders believe President Duterte did well in his first 100 days in office.

Although the Duterte administration is not “perfect,” Church leaders said they could see his sincere desire to effect change in the country.

“I think he is doing well. Although sometimes he has a way with words and he is very loud, you can see that he has an objective,” said Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, a member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, in an interview.

Arguelles cited the Chief Executive’s campaign promise to rid the country of illegal drugs as an example. “That was his promise. Is there rape now that is drug-related? Maybe there still are but not that many unlike before. Do you feel more safe now when you walk on the street or do you feel safer before?” the Lipa prelate said.

Arguelles said while he is not in favor of Duterte, he appreciates the President’s defense of the poor. “He wants to improve the lives of the poor and I want him to continue doing that,” he said.

Bishop Noel Pantoja, national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, also believe that Duterte’s promise of change is now coming little by little. “(Its) not perfect but the promised change is coming despite challenges,” he said in a separate interview.

“Change is coming little by little. The police reported slowing down of crimes in the country as there are less drug-related crimes committed. Seven-hundred thousand surrendered and are now have hopes of being rehabilitated. Churches and many organizations are given opportunity to serve. New doors and approaches of building relationships in neighboring countries are being forged,” Pantoja added. (Leslie Ann G. Aquino)