MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte ordered in jest a “stop” to illegal drugs Tuesday, similar to how his longtime pastor friend Apollo Quiboloy exclaimed the word amid an earthquake last year, claiming it worked to halt the temblor.
“P*t*ng *n* itong mga droga. I’ll say it again for the nth time, itong mga droga, stop. Hindi ako si Quiboloy ha,” Duterte said during a situation briefing on disaster response efforts on the Taal Volcano eruption in Batangas.
(Son of a b*tch these drugs. I'll say it again for the nth time, these drugs, stop. I'm not Quiboloy.)
“Papatayin ko talaga kayo. Totoo 'yan, hindi ako magtago (I'll kill you all. It's true, I will not hide it). I will not hide my hatred and contempt,” he added.
Duterte made the remark in reference to the previous statement of the Davao-based head of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Quiboloy became the subject of memes and jokes last year when he claimed that the magnitude 6.6 tremor that hit Mindanao in October stopped on his orders. Duterte previously said he believed Quiboloy’s claim.
Quiboloy rose to nationwide prominence in 2016 as Duterte's decades-long friend. But the two allegedly had a spat when Duterte, after winning the presidency, reportedly refused to accept the pastor's help in selecting Cabinet members.
The two mended ties reportedly after the 2019 midterm elections.
Duterte had promised during his presidential campaign that he would address the drug problem in 3 to 6 months.
He has drawn criticism for killings and other alleged police abuses, but his administration has sternly defended the campaign, saying drug suspects slain had resisted arrest.
In his State of the Nation Address last year, he admitted the drug problem persists, but promised "I will end my term fighting."
By November, Duterte appointed Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chair of an interagency anti-drug body, saying she should give the job a try after she criticized the campaign. He fired her after 19 days, saying she had made an "a***ole of herself" during her stint.