Duterte’s birthday wish: ‘Progress, prosperity for PH’

For President Rodrigo Duterte’s 74th birthday, his only wish is a more “prosperous and progressive” Philippines.

“My wish is that we will just continue to progress and prosper, hindi tayo masali dyan sa mga gulo-gulo ng ibang bayan (we won’t be involved in the troubles of other nations),” he said before blowing out the candle on his Philippine flag-themed birthday cake during his dinner with the Presidential Security Group at Matina Enclaves in Davao City on Wednesday night, March 27.

Duterte said that on his actual birthday, he would just be “sleeping all day” at home. He has previously said he will be unavailable on his natal day, but will welcome his children and grandchildren.

“I wish you all happiness,” he told his well-wishers who presented the specially customized cake to him.

According to The Philippine Star, Duterte has never thrown lavish parties to celebrate his birthday, even when he was Davao City’s mayor. Usually, he makes himself unavailable every March 28 — which is why he has shunned any activity at Malacañang or anywhere in Luzon and the Visayas for his birthday this year.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo wished Duterte to be given longer life and better health by the Almighty.

“As Mayor Duterte celebrates his 74th birthday, we pray the Almighty to continue giving him a sound mind and a healthy body, that he may finish the goals he had set for the betterment of the country and people that he loved so well towards a future of progress and prosperity,” he said on Wednesday night.

Panelo also said that the Philippines is “certainly blessed and privileged to have someone as dedicated as President Duterte as the captain of our ship, steering our flag carrier safely to a land he vowed to be free from drugs and crimes, where each Filipino will enjoy a comfortable life.”

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, meanwhile, in a text message said: “Destiny designed your name: Rodrigo Roa Duterte, 74 years ago on this day, to lead that we may follow, and to follow that we may live, your noble cause within our lives. Happy Birthday, President Duterte!”

According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, the country is blessed to have Duterte as its president who he dubbed as “one of the most intense and focused persons in government.”

“On behalf of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, I would like to greet the President a very Happy 74th Birthday. We are truly blessed to have Mayor Rody as President. I’ve always known him to be one of the most intense and focused persons in government; his passion tempered by a soft heart for the ordinary Filipino. His style of leadership is very much defined by his own strong personality, which we have witnessed countless times in Davao City and beyond. This is the type of leadership we need as a country now,” he said.

‘Take a break’
Paolo Duterte, presidential son and former Davao City vice mayor, told Duterte to “take a break. We’ll take care of your detractors.”

In a Facebook post that served as a birthday greeting, he said, “Happy birthday, Pa! Kahit gaano ka pa ka-busy sa trabaho, minsan wala ka ng tulog, pero naghahanap ka pa rin ng oras para sa amin. Maraming salamat, Pa! Nandito lang kami para sumuporta sa iyo (Despite how busy you are with work, and sometimes don’t even sleep, you still manage to find the time for us. Thank you so much, Dad! We’re here to support you).

“Pahinga ka rin paminsan minsan, hayaan mo muna ang mga taong nagkukunwaring bright-bright dyan, si Inday na ang bahala sa kanila! Hehehe at yung mga baliw/buang dyan ako na ang bahala sa kanila! (Get some rest once in a while, let the people who pretend they are bright be, [Inday] will take care of it! And I’ll take care of the crazy ones),” he continued.

Paolo Duterte also wished him good health so he can better serve the country and its countrymen.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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