In February, a daily newspaper used the headline on the front page saying “Kung sa Diyos wala kaming takot sa ‘yo pa Duterte! – Archbp. Villegas” and it made waves online.
Netizens reacted negatively to the headline by Bulgar on February 14, 2017 that was allegedly made out of a statement from Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Villegas was bashed by netizens for saying he is not scared of God in the post that uploaded the Bulgar headline.
We looked for the content of news article by Bulgar and found this:
It says that Villegas, in response to Duterte’s criticisms against the Catholic Church, said that they are not afraid of the President, adding that they are not scared of God but he had one important reason for it.
“We are only afraid of sin, we are not even afraid of God because I know God loves me so much, I have no reason to be afraid of Him,” Villegas told the media during a forum.
“The Church is only afraid of sin because sin separates us from God. All the others are manageable,” he added.
Villegas then explained that he does not want to get into a fight with Duterte.
“There is only one that makes us afraid and that is sin. All the others, if God is with us, no one, nothing can ever be against us,” Archbishop Villegas said.
As to the criticisms hurled at the Catholic Church, the CBCP head said that the Church is willing to rise to the challenge of improving itself.
“Kapag sinabi mo sa katabi mo na hindi maganda ang damit, pero ang resulta nu’n ay na-discourage na, nawala na ang self-esteem, hindi maganda iyun. Pero ‘pag sinabi mo sa katabi mong ito ang suggestion ko para gumanda ang appeal mo, you give that person hope,” he explained.
“Iyon ang pakiusap ko, n asana, kung magko-correct tayo, bibigyan natin ang bawat isa ng pag-asa – hindi iyong sugatan na, marumi na, sisipain pa natin,” he added.
Duterte called the Catholic priests hypocrites as they continued to criticize President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
Using the quote cited in the Bulgar article, we found that the same statement was used in the ABS-CBN report titled “Catholic Church not afraid of Duterte – CBCP head” published on February 13, 2017, a day before the Bulgar headline came out.
Given the full statement of Villegas about not fearing God, much more Duterte, and his reason for not feeling such emotion, we agree with what one blog called the headline – “browsebait.” Since it was found on a printed material, we cannot exactly say that it is clickbait. What Bulgar tried to do instead was to convince readers to browse through the physical pages of the newspaper.
It was actually the blog Defend the Catholic Faith that described the headline as “browsebait.”
“Ang masasabi ko lang sa mga giliw na taga subaybay ng social media ay dapat na po tayong Masanay. Nakilala po ang Bulgar sa pagiging ‘browsebait’ (for lack of a better term). Karamihan po sa mga headline ng News Paper na iyan ay talagang kagulat-gulat at kataka-taka ngunit sa pag binasa mo ang nilalaman ay hindi naman ganon ang pinapahiwatig,” the blogger behind the page wrote.
The blog also provided a link to the online copy of that February 14, 2017 issue from Bulgar, which you can find here.
Archbishop Villegas did say that the Catholic Church does not fear God because they know how much God loves them. They are not scared of Duterte, either, because the only fear that deserved to be feared of is sin, sin that will disconnect them from God. The headline by Bulgar was simply meant to shock people and urge them to buy the newspaper to browse the story’s content.