“The interest of the people is paramount.”
This was the response of incoming president Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday following statements by the camp of evangelist Apollo Quiboloy that he was being eased out of Duterte’s inner circle.
“Let me be very clear: my friendship with my friends ends where the interest of the country begins. I would as much as possible make you happy if you are my friend, but I will not allow anybody to color my decisions in government. From now on, it is always the interest of the people of the Republic of the Philippines that counts, period,” Duterte said in an interview at his favorite watering hole, the After Dark Bar in Davao City.
Duterte said there was nothing he could do for his friends and supporters who helped him in the campaign leading to his victory in the May 9 elections. One of them is Quiboloy, leader of the religious group Kingdom of Jesus Christ the Name Above Every Name.
“I am sorry. My loyalty to my friend ends where my loyalty to my country begins,” Duterte told a press briefing yesterday.
The pastor is a long-time friend of the Davao City mayor. Quiboloy vigorously campaigned for Duterte and provided a private plane and helicopter during the campaign.
Source: Philippine Star