MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is focused on the welfare of the country and all Filipinos rather than his birthday, more so now that the country is grappling with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Friday.
“Bilang ama ng bayan, ang nasa isip niya ngayon ay ang kapakanan ng bansa at hindi ang sarili niyang birthday. Sa aking pananaw, (As the father of the country, his thoughts at the moment is on the welfare of the country and not on his own birthday. In my view) the President will only celebrate when we have fully conquered the Covid-19 situation,” Go said in a statement.
“For now, he is focused on what needs to be done,” he added, as he pointed that the President has shunned birthday parties even when he was still Davao City mayor, preferring to stay at home and keeping things simple on such occasions.
The lawmaker said to some extent, the President is always like in home quarantine during his birthdays, noting the similarities of Duterte’s situation now that he is on self-quarantine in Malacañang.
But despite being quarantined, Go assured that the President continues to monitor the country’s situation and give the necessary orders to government officials to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
The former Special Assistant to the President, who is also on self-quarantine, said he talks with Duterte by phone twice a day, the first one at 6:30 a.m.
He said among the directives of the President is for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide the necessary assistance to the needy, particularly the poorest of the poor.
Go said Duterte is also appealing to the people to continue praying, especially for the welfare of the frontliners — the health workers, doctors, nurses, as well as the military and the police who are doing their jobs of protecting the people.
“Sabi ng Pangulo na dapat mabilisang maibigay lahat ng suporta at tulong sa kanila bilang mga bayani sa gyerang ito (As heroes in this war, the President said all the help and support must be given immediately to them),” he said.
As for Duterte’s birthday, he said the President has only one wish from the people.
“Ngayong kaarawan niya, nakakalungkot man na mag-isa siya, isa lang ang pakiusap niya sa mga Pilipino — ang tanging maireregalo ninyo sa kanya ay ang sumunod sa patakaran (For his birthday, even if if it is sad to think that he is alone, he only asks one thing from the Filipino people — the only gift that you can give him is to abide with the policies) and STAY AT HOME,” Go said.
President Rodrigo Duterte will spend his 75th birthday Saturday in Malacañang upon the advice of his doctor and the Presidential Security Group for his own safety.
PSG chief, Col. Jesus Durante III said Duterte will not receive any guests on his birthday. (ia/PNA)