The country's Catholic bishops have long been vocal in their opposition to Duterte, including his "war on drugs," which critics have claimed has led to extrajudicial killings. Duterte has been vocal in his dislike of religion, and a consistent critic of the Catholic Church.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo, an auxiliary bishop of the capital city of Manila, was recently named the archdiocese's apostolic administrator after Cardinal Chito Tagle was appointed by the pope to serve as head of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Vatican.
Pabillo has been a consistent critic of Duterte throughout his presidency.
In June 2018, he accused the Philippine president of blasphemy, after he called God "stupid" and a "son of a b-tch" during a speech. The bishop also publicly condemned the president's claim that the majority of Philippine priests were homosexual.
Later that month, Duterte said that he was willing to dialogue with the country's bishops' conference in an effort to repair relationships, and the president's spokesperson announced that a committee would be created to better collaborate and communicate with the Catholic hierarchy.
In November 2018, Bishop David urged his flock to pray for Duterte, who he called a "very sick man." The following month, Duterte said that citizens should "kill and steal" from Catholic bishops, stating that "this stupid bunch serves no purpose--all they do is criticize."
Pope Francis has also been insulted by Duterte. In 2016, prior to his election as president, he called the pontiff a "son of a wh-re" after a papal visit caused increased traffic in Manila.
Duterte later apologized to the pope in a letter.