MANILA – Former President Fidel V. Ramos’ public criticism of some of President Rodrigo Duterte’s policies and behavior has apparently not driven a wedge between them.
"I respect your criticism. I accept your advice and maybe I will mimic your role as president before. I will follow," Duterte told Ramos in a speech during the latter’s book launch in Camp Aguinaldo.
Ramos has criticized Duterte and his men several times, but the President does not seem to mind even if the former leader has become his “number one critic.”
"You are my idol. You are my number one supporter, but at the same time you are my number one critic now,” he said.
"You can continue criticizing me, sir," Duterte said.
Ramos once criticized Duterte for saying that his policies were making the Philippines “lose badly,” adding that the tough-talking leader seems to have no long-term vision for the country.
In his latest admonition of the year-old administration, Ramos noted that some government officials had turned Duterte’s trip to Russia last May into a “junket.”
Ramos played a role in pushing the then-Davao City mayor to run for President in the May 2016 elections.