Archbishop seeks Duterte, Father Pete reconciliation

Capalla admits Fr. Pete a married priest


Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla yesterday admitted Fr. Pedro “Pete” Lamata had broken his vow of celibacy but appealed for compassion and forgiveness for the priest who is object of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s ire.

Archbishop Capalla, in a statement, said he hoped Fr. Lamata and the mayor could patch things up and not allow the situation to spin into a full-blown rift.

In his television program Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa on ABS/CBN on Sunday, Duterte took Fr. Lamata to task for refusing to accept and distribute city government-funded Christmas gifts of food stuffs to indigent families in his parish, St. Mary Parish in Buhangin.

Duterte also said Fr. Lamata slurred him and his family including daughter Vice Mayor Sara Duterte whom the priest called “Inday Badiday” in one of his homilies. The priest, Duterte said, had also been assailing him for summary executions in the city, which the priest blamed on the city mayor.

The mayor also unleashed a bombshell, waving a machine-copy of a marriage certificate showing Fr. Lamata had been married to an Asuncion Baluran in 1982, two years after he was ordained as a priest.

“As the spiritual father of all the Catholics in Davao City including my friend Mayor Digong and my priest Fr. Pete as well as others who might be in a similar situation, I would like to appeal for compassionate reconciliation, that is, to forgive and to receive forgiveness,” said Capalla in his statement.

The local media tried to reach out to Fr. Lamata in his office at St. Mary’s but the priest was not around. He also made himself scarce to media trying to contact him through his mobile phone.

“Lamata as a young priest had contracted civil marriage with a woman, but has long repented for what he had done,” said Capalla.

A priest contracting marriage is a serious violation against the Code of Canon Law that merits automatic suspension from the ministry.

Lamata was suspended from his priestly ministry because of what he did, said Capalla.

But he said the same Church law also provides steps and procedures, aside from humble repentance and separation, for erring priests to be forgiven and restored to priestly ministry.

Capalla said Lamata had repented for what he had done and fulfilled the other requirements that took him several years. After having complied with the pre-requisites he was reinstated to the priestly ministry, he said.

“Since that time until today, like a wounded healer Fr. Pedro Lamata has been a dedicated and energetic priest and pastor, well-loved and respected by many people especially his parishioners and friends, even from among the Muslims and Protestants,” Capalla said, who added he first came to know of Lamata’s case when he succeeded the late Archbishop Antonio Mabutas as the Davao archbishop.

Capalla said he hoped to see Duterte and Fr. Lamata sitting down in a reconciliation table although not “immediately but when both are predisposed for this Christian act.”

8 thoughts on “Archbishop seeks Duterte, Father Pete reconciliation”

  1. Davao is a beautiful city. but the mayor is a hard nose person. I am a regular tourist of the city. but i hardly see any improvement of the city’s infrastructures, no new roads, good drainage, no sports venue or convention centers. it maybe the mayor is busy with other things than planning the development of the city. he’s busy hitting other people like churchmen below the belt. hitting the opposition, controlling the media… he is like a king of the city with enormous power. no wonder that the summary killings are attributed to him because he is the most powerful person in the place and the responsibility stops on him. but he is no gentlemen in terms of politics. his bad mouth shows you that he will eradicate oppositions in his path that includes the religious. it seemed that you guy is big fan of him or are you a paid hack too.


  2. I really disagree with you, if your a tourist in our city and your complaining that the city doesn’t improve because our mayor is busy with other things like hitting other people, controlling the media and etc., let me ask you, why youre still visiting our city? you know what don’t judge our mayor because compare to other places and city in the entire philippiness we are blessed to have him for he is the mayor that criminals will be afaid of and for the poors to run for help. Admit it or not Davao City is the safest place to live on as long as your a good person but as what dabawenyo’s know if your criminal then youre not welcome, i’m not saying these because im a big fan or being paid but i was born on this city and eversince i only consider 1 mayor and that is mayor rodrigo roa duterte.


  3. Oh well, lamata should have been booted a long time ago. See? if it were not for the mayor, nobody would have known he is married.

    And they said only God can break the bond of marriage? they felt they can..

    and mind you there are two marriages here….
    the vow to priesthood
    and the civil wedding.

    stupid canon law.


  4. jesse. you are just a tourist. you’ve never lived in the city. study the history of Davao before saying anything.

    better yet. just keep your comments to your self.


  5. jesse, you know nothing about davao except maybe for the places you had visited here as you said, you’re a tourist here but for how many days, for how many times for you to know what’s the REAL thing going on here in davao? many davaoenos can oppose what you commented here.. we, people living here in davao and not just a tourist, know more our city and our local government more than you claim you do!


  6. Indeed, It takes a resident of Davao, not a tourist, to know the effect of what Duterte has done for the city, If it wasn’t for Duterte, Davao would still be riddled with criminals and terrorist to this day.


  7. jesse, you have no idea what davao city was liked in the 3 years when duterte was the congressman of 1st district instead of mayor. i grew up in davao city and i could say it was only during those 3 years when i experienced how it was to walk in the streets with fear. petty thieves were all over the city, people started having second thoughts riding a cab at night, the main streets were dirty. etc etc. it pretty much felt like i was living in manila!!! im sure duterte will have to leave his post someday. ill be sorry when that day comes. but for now, i’d say he is definitely good for the city.

    i admit the city could do better when comes to economy and job creation – i hope his daughter, the vice mayor, will take this to task. judging from the little IT and outsourcing companies that have been sprouting all over the city, i believe we are getting there on this aspect sloooooowly but suuurely.. 😛


  8. Yes, i agree with you. Davao city used to be a slum of dead bodies back in 1980 when i was studying there. It was a dangerous city to live. At that time there was one place that called ” Killing Field ” or ” Nicaragdao ” where there were dead salvaged bodies found almost every day, even the Church in San pedro street was bombed and there were hundreds were killed. These tourist now a days they are so lucky to enjoy the beautiful city of davao with ease and peace of mind this is because of Mayor Duterte is brave to maintain the peace and order of the city until now. He might be anti oppositon but he is a PEACE loving mayor. More power to him and to Davao city.



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