President Rodrigo marked his 72nd birthday on Tuesday the way he had celebrated it in the past – without fanfare.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte’s birthday was most likely a simple and quiet affair.
“It’s usually a very quiet affair with family and friends. Very simple, something that suits his personality,” Abella told reporters.
A simple and quiet birthday is traditional for Duterte.
Last year, his birthday fell smack in the middle of the campaign season and he spent the day home with his partner Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña and their daughter Veronica.
“I’ll sleep the whole day. That’s the tradition. I have never celebrated a birthday in my life,” Duterte then said.
In a press conference on Thursday last week, the President said he plans to “sleep off the day” or perhaps see his new grandson Stonefish Carpio, the youngest child of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Duterte wished for himself “more time and little strength” to be able to address the problems of the country.
His chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo echoed his sentiment, wishing him long life and good health.
“I join the millions who gave you the spectacular mandate in their prayers and implorations to the God Almighty that He showers you with the blessings of good health and for Him to send you His Angels in Heaven to spread their wings over you to protect you from harm and injury that you may accomplish your goal in eradicating the ills that plague the country and creating the foundations to propel this country in economic growth and progress,” Panelo said in a statement.
“President Rody, your appointment with history as President has come to pass as I have envisioned almost eight years ago. As you traverse the tortuous path to your date with destiny as the greatest President this country ever had, you pause to mark this day, while insignificant to you, but which the multitudes deem it as a celebration of life and thanksgiving for your coming to this world, without fanfare,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson said his birthday wish for Duterte is for the President to start acting like a statesman.
“My wish is for him (President) to start acting like a statesman. This is what he said during the campaign, that in due time he will metamorphose into a statesman,” Lacson said.
The senator added that there are lot of things the President needs to change, including his treatment of the media, senators, congressmen, local government officials and the public in general.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd expressed hopes that Filipinos would unite and become partners for change as a gift to the President.
Pimentel, President of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party, said Duterte is determined to see Filipinos live happy and prosperous lives.
“It’s a dream all members of PDP Laban share, and it is my wish that we can help him realize his goal before his term as President ends. Let’s all be partners for change, not just for this special day, but for all time. It is our gift for the President, and our gift to ourselves,” Pimentel said in a statement.
WITH A REPORT FROM Jefferson Antiporda