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Bonded like brothers: Shared love for Davao, big bikes bring Duterte close to Quiboloy

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Self proclaimed “Appointed Son of God” Apollo Quiboloy hit the headlines again this week after American Customs officials found $350,000 in cash on his private plane at the Honolulu airport in Hawaii.

Quiboloy, head of the Philippine mega church Kingdom of Jesus Christ, was known as a long time friend of President Rodrigo Duterte before he assumed office in 2016.

Several stories have been written about the two men’s friendship, which started in Davao City.

It has been said that they met when Duterte was mayor and Quiboloy was a struggling pastor, with KJC having only 15 members.

Duterte and Quiboloy’s friendship only got stronger as KJC’s reach grew. According to a May 2016 report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the two men bonded over golf games and love for big bikes.

Quiboloy also called Duterte up daily.

The charismatic pastor’s generosity with Duterte knew no bounds. He gave the mayor a house in Woodridge, a subdivision in Davao City, and a lot in Royal Pines. There were also gifts of Ford Expedition and Nissan Safari.

During the campaign season for the 2016 elections, Duterte said Quiboloy footed the bill so he could see famous American neurosurgeon Martin Cooper to cure his sweaty hands.

Quiboloy also offered his private jet to Duterte so he could campaign nationwide.

Their relationship changed after Duterte won.

As Duterte’s spiritual adviser, Quiboloy felt he should have a say in the selection of Duterte’s Cabinet officials. However, reports pointed to a “cordon sanitaire” composed of now Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go and Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

Duterte eventually apologized to Quiboloy, though it remains to be seen if they will be back to being the close friends they once were.