Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III paid tribute to his childhood friend, President Rodrigo Duterte, as the administration comes to a close.
In a speech uploaded on Youtube, Dominguez vouched for Duterte’s character, having known the President for 70 years.
“The fact is, Rody is among the smartest people I have ever known. He is an acute judge of character. He has a keen appreciation of how the world works. He has excellent people skills. He never shirked from the challenges that confronted him,” he said.
Dominguez said he respected Duterte as mayor of Davao City for reforming the area from being a “cesspool of crime and violence” to a prosperous one. Dominguez is convinced his childhood friend did the same on the national level.
“I was reluctant to accept the job he asked me to do but after six years, I am happy I accepted the Secretary of Finance post. It was both a pleasure and an honor to work for Rodrigo Duterte,” he said.
“He constantly has the good of the nation and the welfare of our people at heart. He threw his immense political capital and staunch support behind his economic team and the reforms we fought hard for,” Dominguez added. “No one could ask for more.”
He credited Duterte for using his political clout to get economic reforms done, and to even stand up against oligarchs and other major interests.
“A few years from now, when the nation would have achieved high middle-income status and consolidated its recovery, we will fully appreciate Rodrigo Duterte’s role in our nation’s progress,” he said.
Dominguez ended his speech with an expression of gratitude to Duterte’s “excellent service” to the country.
Watch the full speech here: