Philippine VIPs fly south to Duterte’s new seat of power

(From AFP)

Business tycoons, turncoat politicians, celebrities and rebel leaders are descending on the long-neglected far south of the Philippines, hoping to gain favor with the nation’s shock new power-broker.

Rodrigo R Duterte

Rodrigo R Duterte

The remote and dusty city of Davao has suddenly become the country’s new seat of power after home town hero Rodrigo Duterte won last week’s presidential election in a landslide.

The mayor has refused to travel to the nation’s capital 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) away, forcing VIPs to head to Davao for the time-honored Filipino political ritual of jumping on the bandwagon of the new president.

Movie star-turned-politician ER Ejercito was among the suitors, shifting effortlessly from his campaign support for Jejomar Binay — an early frontrunner in pre-election presidential surveys who finished a distant fourth.

“My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins,” said Ejercito, a former governor of Laguna province near Manila. Read More



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