Malacañang officials’ birthday wish for Duterte: Long, healthy life
MANILA, Philippines (2ND UPDATE) – Malacañang officials wished President Rodrigo Duterte a long life on his 73rd birthday on Wednesday, March 28.
In messages sent to reporters, Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar all had warm words for their principal.
“Ang wish ko po para kay Boss ay long and healthy life para patuloy siyang makapagsilbi sa bayan (My wish for Boss is a long and healthy life so he can continue serving the nation)," said Go, his closest aide.
“To my adviser, my mentor and my boss, isang maligayang kaarawan po sa inyo (a happy birthday to you)!” he added.
Roque, for his part, spoke of "how blessed" the country is in having Duterte as its leader.
“On this day, we are reminded of how blessed we are as a nation to be headed by someone who is known for his strong political will, decisive leadership, and compassion for his fellowmen. I join the people in wishing our President a happy birthday!” he said.
In his first birthday message to the President as his spokesman. Roque also expressed his grattude for being given the chance to work alongside Duterte.
“As his official spokesperson, it is my distinct privilege to work with the Chief Executive and have seen firsthand his hard work and dedication in fulfilling his goal of building a nation where opportunities abound and where citizens are empowered to realize their aspirations,” he said.
Duterte, he added, inspired many government officials, including himself.
“His sense of duty and fidelity to the country motivate us to work even harder to spread his message of genuine and meaningful change to our people,” said Roque.
'Blessed be the man'
Andanar sent the longest birthday message of all entitled “Blessed be the Man.”
In it, he described Duterte as a “man for the people” and mentioned major initiatives of his administration, including the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, rehabilitation of Marawi, free hospital care for the poorest Filipinos, and efforts for peace in Mindanao.
“We pause for this one day, to render to the President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the honor and the gratitude deserving of a leader, whose vision is revealed as each day unfolds. He acts both from the realm of power, and from the homes of the powerless,” said Andanar.
He added that Duterte’s stories and manner of speaking "belong authentically to the language of the people."
Like his fellow Palace officials, Andanar wished the septuagenarian president a long life.
“We pray that our President be blessed with more years, strong health, and the wisdom of fine age,” said Andanar.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo's greeting for Duterte included praise for the Chief Executive's apparent skill at turning the tables on his "foes."
"Happy Happy birthday PRRD! As you add another page to your book of life, the gods of destiny appear to be smiling at how you have hurdled the formidable gauntlet they have thrown at you," he said.
"Surely you have mastered the art of playng at your foes, vexing your detractors and perflexing [sic] your allies as well," Panelo added.
Captain of the ship
Top security officials also wished their Commander-in-Chief well on his birthday.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, "May the good Lord continue to bless you with good health, stamina and inspiration to lead our nation."
"I wish the President peace, happiness and good health. May the Lord continue to provide him all the wisdom as he runs the country with inspiring his leadership!" said Department of Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año.
Philippine National Police chief Director-General Ronald Dela Rosa likened Duterte to the captain of a ship in his birthday greeting.
"We will never get tired paddling the ship as long as you are at the helm. Please continue steering the ship until it reaches its drug-free destination," he said.
"We are with you in this journey. Walang iwanan (No one gets left behind)! Happy birthday PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte), sir!" added the police chief.
Duterte will spend his birthday in his house in Davao City. No official events have been scheduled on this day. His grandchildren are expected to visit him today, similar to his birthday last year. – Rappler.com