Malacañan said the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines' (CBCP) pastoral letter highlighting the "terror" in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs is "out of touch" with reality.
"The officials of the (CBCP) are apparently out of touch with the sentiments of the faithful who overwhelmingly support the changes in the Philippines - turning the nation into a safer place for families, working people, especially young night shift workers, far from the 'terror' the bishops paint rather dramatically," Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
In its pastoral letter out for pulpit reading in all Sunday Masses, the CBCP expressed concern for the lives of drug suspects and their families amid the government's war on drugs.
"An Additional cause of concern is the reign of terror in many places of the poor. Many are killed not because of drugs. Those who kill them are not brought to account. An even greater cause of concern is the indifference of many to this kind of wrong," the pastoral letter said.
The CBCP also called for the cooperation of the faithful in solving the drug problem and work for the successful rehabilitation of drug suspects.
The bishops added in the pastoral letter that "the Church will continue to speak against evil even as we acknowledge and repent of our own shortcomings."
"We will do this even if it will bring persecution upon us because we are all brothers and sisters responsible for each other. We will help drug addicts so that they may be healed and start a new life," the CBCP said.
Abella said instead of lambasting the government's war on drugs, CBCP should instead build the moral character of its faithful and contribute in peace-making of communities.
"The efforts of these Church leaders might be put to better use in practical catechetics that build strong moral character among the faithful, and so contribute more to the reign of peace felt by ordinary citizens everywhere, especially those who are innocent of illegal activities," Abella said.
Before the release of the pastoral letter, President Duterte called the Catholic Church "full of shit" following several bishops' expression of criticism against his war on drugs.