MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will be on self-quarantine on Saturday (March 28), the day he turns 75, due to his exposure anew to public officials who have direct contact with a person infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang said on Friday.
Duterte decided to isolate himself at Malacañan Palace in Manila following the recommendation of his doctors and the Presidential Security Group (PSG), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) will self-quarantine himself on his birthday tomorrow following the advice of the PSG as well as doctors for his protection following his exposure to some officials who themselves have been exposed to a confirmed Covid-19 victim,” Panelo said.
This is the first time Duterte will be celebrating his birthday in Manila.
Duterte usually celebrates his birthday with his family at his official residence in Davao City.
In a phone patch interview, PSG chief Jesus Durante III said Duterte would be alone on his birthday.
”’Yung mga family members are all in Davao eh. Walang [makakapunta sa Manila] (All family members are in Davao and no one will fly to Manila),” Durante said.
Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said Duterte would be on self-quarantine until April 7.
Panelo said Duterte would continue to fulfill his duties as the country’s highest official while the latter is on self-quarantine.
“He will continue with his work while on quarantine. His only birthday wish is for our countrymen to stay home and the total eradication of the coronavirus,” he said.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, in another phone patch interview, said the “best” birthday gift for Duterte is to “defeat Covid-19.”
Go said Duterte can only have fun when Covid-19 pandemic ends.
“The President will only celebrate when we have fully conquered the Covid-19 situation. For now, he is focused on what needs to be done — at nandito ako para suportahan palagi si Pangulong Duterte (and I am here to always support President Duterte),” he said. (PNA)