President Rodrigo Duterte said he owed a debt of gratitude only to a handful of people, including Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, for his winning run in last May's polls.
Duterte described this as his "saving grace" because he was not beholden to that many people when he took office.
"Ang saving grace ko... is wala akong utang na loob na kahit kanino except three or four persons," he said in television interview on Thursday.
Pressed to name who those people are, Duterte promptly replied: "Imee."
"And because I promised to bury Marcos during the campaign period in the debates," he added.
The remains of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Imee's father, were buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani last November. Duterte has continued to defend the decision to allow the burial, which has come under fire from critics led by victims of the Martial Law regime.
Asked to name other people to whom he holds a debt of gratitude, Duterte named Bataan Governor Abet Garcia, Bukidnon Governor Jose Zubiri Jr., and another governor whose name escaped him. —JST, GMA News