We all know that Pres. Duterte and Pastor Apollo have been good friends through the years. What most people are not aware of is that they are more than bosom buddies; they are like brothers.
I have been blessed to witness such a unique kind of friendship since the early ‘80s. The bond forged between the two unassuming leaders is a peculiar story on its own.
As veteran columnist Serafin “Jun” Ledesma put it, “Unknown to many, the friendship of Duterte and Quiboloy dated back when both were just starting and struggling in their respective endeavors. Both fiscal Duterte and Pastor Quiboloy own rickety Volkswagen and almost weekly they met in a repair shop to keep their cars going. The fiscal had very few friends to count which include some leftists and policemen who were subjects of his probe and litigation. The pastor only had seven loyal followers, a block-time radio program which he can hardly afford and later had to be cut.”
Today, then fiscal-turned-mayor Rody Duterte is the most powerful man in the country. Pastor Apollo is followed by 7 million faithful Kingdom citizens, followers, covenant partners and members worldwide. Both started from humble beginnings. Both I have come to know in my early 20’s.
But all of these did not just come to pass without the Almighty Father’s divine orchestration.
Twenty-three years ago, Pastor Apollo had a notable dream. In his dream, his friend Mayor Rody Duterte flew him via helicopter to Malacañang. There, they played golf. High-ranking military officials arrived and were saluting Mayor Duterte. He wondered why, and later realized that Mayor Rody was the President of the Philippines!
That was 23 years ago and here we are today. Who would have thought that a son of Mindanao would one day become the Philippine President? Had there been no divine hands guiding and protecting our president, he would have not survived the onslaught of critics left and right. If he were not destined for the presidency, he would have not survived even one year in office with all the attacks being hurled against him night and day.
Our Beloved Pastor calls him a political genius and master strategist and “God’s gift to the Filipino people.”
“Mayor, you are the Michael Jordan of Politics,” our Beloved Pastor told his best friend over post-dinner tea. President Rody cannot help but smile.
It is simply heartwarming to see the glow in his face and the mirth in his eyes.
After all, it doesn’t hurt to commend a hardworking President for all that he has done for the country that he so loves.
If there are lessons I glean from our Beloved Pastor’s friendship with the President, these are the following:
- genuine friendship means respecting each other in spite of differing beliefs, faith and principles
- real friendship is learning how to love unconditionally and accepting each other, warts and all
- true friendship is selfless
The President’s calling is to be of service to the people. His commendable leadership being the highest public official in the land is unmatched. We have seen him work for the people. He is tireless and sincere in his desire to ease the suffering of the Filipinos. His achievements for the past three years are phenomenal to say the least.
Our Beloved Pastor’s calling being the Appointed Son of God is to be the Almighty Father’s Audible Voice and Conduit on earth. Millions have been changed and enlightened through the years by listening to his message of repentance and genuine salvation.
Two men whose roads had crossed several years back in Agdao, Davao City were breaking bread on a rainy Monday night, sharing old-time stories, memories, and the usual fun and amusing topics they love discussing over their all-time favorite ginisang munggo and bulad.