MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Sunday extended birthday greetings to President Rodrigo Duterte wishing him “more healthy years ahead.”
“Today, we greet our country’s leader and father of the nation, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, a happy 76th birthday,” he said in a press statement.
He recalled how he has seen first-hand how the President relied on his strengths to provide public service to Filipinos.
“As PRRD’s Official Spokesperson, I have seen firsthand our Chief Executive’s decisive and compassionate leadership, coupled with his hard work and love of country, and how these served the interest and betterment of the Filipinos and inspired officials in the government — myself included — to deliver public service which our people truly deserve,” he added.
Roque hoped for Duterte’s good health so that he would be able to continue fulfilling his campaign promise of providing compassion and real change in the country.
“We pray to the Almighty to continue giving President Duterte more healthy years ahead so he may continue fulfilling his vision of bringing about genuine and meaningful change in our society. Pagpalain kayo ng Dakilang Lumikha. Maligayang kaarawan, mahal na Pangulo (God bless you. Happy birthday, dear President)!” he said.
‘Destined to be leader’
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, in a separate statement, also greeted Duterte by wishing him “more blessings.”
“Wishing you boundless happiness, more blessings and plentiful bounties from the Almighty, especially good health, and the fulfillment of your birthday wish of the end of the pandemic, and yes, whatever your heart desires on your natal day,” Panelo said.
He recalled how sure he was that Duterte would someday be the country’s highest elected official.
“I was right when fifteen years ago I launched an advocacy — and visualized — that you are destined to be the leader of our nation, and rightfully so, as our country needed a politically willed, incorruptible, compassionate, fearless law enforcer maverick President with iron-clad conviction and determination, unmindful of adverse consequences to his health, honor and life,” he added.
Panelo, meanwhile, praised Duterte for planting “seeds of change and reform” during his term, noting how it has benefited many Filipinos amid criticism.
“A lesser mortal would have yielded in abject surrender against the onslaught and destruction wrought by the forces of nature and the selfish murderous ferocity of the human species, but not you, Mr. President. You remained fealty and steadfast to the directive of the Constitution to serve and protect the Filipino people. For that, you have reaped an unprecedented and astronomical trust and approval survey rating from our people,” he said.
On Saturday, Panelo said Duterte will keep himself busy performing his presidential duties on his birthday.
He said Duterte will be on self-quarantine following the recommendation of the Chief Executive’s doctors and the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
This is the second time Duterte will isolate himself during his birthday due to his exposure to public officials and other individuals.
He will be isolating in his hometown, Davao City.
Last year, Duterte underwent self-isolation when he celebrated his 75th birthday at Malacañan Palace in Manila.
Last Thursday, Roque said Duterte wishes nothing more than “the end to the pandemic.”
“I’m sure the President wishes an end to this pandemic at nais po niyang lahat tayo ay makabalik po sa buhay nating mga normal. Ibig sabihin babalik tayo dun sa napakataas na ating growth rate taon-taon because ang kaniyang pangako ay mas kumportableng buhay sa lahat (and he wants all of us can go back to our normal life. This means he wants the country to return to high growth rates yearly because his promise is a more comfortable life for all),” Roque said in a virtual press briefing.
Duterte is the oldest Filipino politician to be elected President in Philippine history. His term will end in June next year. (PNA)