Duterte 'pained' over letting go of corrupt friends
(Philstar.com) - July 23, 2018 - 8:39pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that it was hard for him to let go of his friends who have been tainted with corruption.

In his third State of the Nation Address, the president said that he values friendship but it also has limits.

"I have friends and political supporters whom I appointed to public office and then dismissed or caused to resign," Duterte said, refusing to identify these friends.

The president called on his "friends" to help him in his cause to maintain their friendships.

"This is a lonely place I am hemmed in. Do not make it lonelier by forcing me to end our friendship because you gave me the reason to end it. It pains me to end --- the loss of friendships," he said.

Former Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and former Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo are among Duterte's Cabinet members who stepped down following loss of trust.

Both Sueno and Teo were accused of corruption while Aguirre drew criticisms after his department's handling of various cases such as the dismissal of charges against drug suspects Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim.

Duterte, however, is also being slammed for his practice of reappointing people accused of anomalies in government, which according to critics, is sending mixed signals on his fight against corruption. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

CORRUPTION DUTERTE SONA 2018 RODRIGO DUTERTE
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