Religious leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy on Monday downplayed a reported rift between him and incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.
Speaking to reporters in Davao City, Quiboloy denied that he has any ill feelings toward Duterte.
“Hindi po ako nagtatampo kay Mayor… Patuloy ang pagkakaibigan ko kay Mayor [I have no hard feelings… My friendship with the mayor continues],” he said.
Duterte is the incumbent mayor of Davao City in southern Philippines.
Quiboloy, the founder of the homegrown religious sect Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC), added that he understood that the country’s presumptive President has a busy schedule since winning the May 9 elections.
“Nauunawan ko kasi si Mayor ay masyadong busy at yung mga pagkakataong iyun, ilang araw masyado nang busy at ilang araw din busy din ako dito [I understand that the Mayor was too busy at the time and I was also busy],” he said.
Quiboloy added that he spent around a week in his highland retreat, Prayer Mountain, to “semi-fast” and pray that the incoming Duterte administration succeeds.
“Gusto kong malaman ng buong bansa na we are squarely behind him, supported ko po ang public career ni Mayor Duterte from when we became friends 30 years ago hanggang ngayon [I want the whole country to know that we are absolutely behind him, I have been supporting him since we became friends 30 years ago],” he said.
Quiboloy added that he praised Duterte for saying the country’s interest would come before friendship.
“Uunahin natin ang sinabi ng Mayor, ang interes ng ating bansa. Malaki ang responsibilidad ng pagiging President ng bansa, kaya kailangan lahat ng dalangin ay ibigay sa kanya. Hindi na lang ito Davao City kundi buong bansa [Being President is a huge responsibility, so let us all pray for him, not only us here in Davao City but in the whole country],” he said.
Quiboloy’s spokesman Mike Abe earlier claimed that Quiboloy felt bad after being shut off by the people surrounding Duterte.
Abe said Quiboloy and Duterte had no official communications since 2 a.m of May 10.
KJC Executive Secretary Eleanor Cardona, however, told reporters that Abe’s statements in recent days may have been mixed with his own opinions.