Duterte also made mention of the fact that he did in fact appoint friends and accomplices to key government positions but also stated that he also made them resign and go out from the service because of problems with transparency and governance. He reiterated that his friendship has limits and that in his mind, the common good of the country trumps friendship any time. He also stated that he is in a lonely place and that he needs not be lonely because he keeps losing his friends.
While he has been seen to have ended his friendships with several people in public, there is little doubt that he continues to be their patron in private. President Duterte still has to contend with the idea that he is just recycling officials and friends in high places. One only has to look at Vitaliano Aguirre who is now holding another plum post in the government – away from the prying eyes of the public but still in power.
The biggest irony in his statement is the power struggle between the erstwhile Speaker of the House – Pnataleon Alvarez and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Both are seen as his friends – with Alvarez being the more vocal – and Arroyo one in the shadows. The reaction on the power struggle is a mixed bag but mostly leaning on the joy of getting Alvarez axed and dismay on the rise to power of Arroyo to the fourth highest position in the country where she could conceivably be in play for the Prime Minister role should federalism push through.
Below are links to reactions to 3rd State of the Nation Address highlighting other specific topics. Hope this helps.
- Main Page – Introduction
- Surprising to Say the Least
- Initial Salvo
- Corrosive Love – and a Subtle Reminder
- Mindanao – the Land of Promise
- Stronger Bonds with ASEAN and China
- No End to ENDO
- Other Highlights
- Railroading TRAIN – Stop It!
- Immediate reactions
- Final Take
- Post Script on History