Mayor Rody Duterte expressed sadness and regret that the part of his speech mentioning Pope Francis in relation to the monstrous traffic gridlock in January, came across as being disrespectful to the person of His Holiness Pope Francis. It was farthest from his mind and was never his intention.
He acknowledges that he should have explained better his point on the matter of that monstrous traffic gridlock. His strong statement on theincompetence of those in government to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila was his expression of anger borne out of the helplessness of the millions of commuters suffering from this daily gridlock. It was never intended to be directed to the person of His Holiness Pope Francis, who has his utmost respect. It was out of exasperation at the inutility of the functionaries in government not only during that historic visit of Pope Francis but at the daily sufferings of all citizens in Metro Manila up to this moment.
Mayor Rody also fully understands the reactions of many who, at the very least, are displeased and disappointed at this unfortunate and regrettable incident.