By Mario Casayuran
President Duterte turns 75 today, March 28, but he does not plan to celebrate his birthday, a tradition he has kept even when he was still mayor of Davao City, Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘’Bong’’ Go said Friday.
‘’He only stays at home. This has been his tradition. To some extent, it was just like having a home quarantine every time his birthday comes,’’ Go, former close aide and former special assistant to President Duterte, said.
“This time, he was advised by his doctor and the PSG (Presidential Security Group) to observe self-quarantine for his protection as he was exposed in Malacanang,” Go said.
The President is staying at Malacanang after his security locked down the Palace as a member of the House of Representative who attended a Palace meeting was suspected of having coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Bilang ama ng bayan, ang nasa isip niya ngayon ay ang kapakanan ng bansa at hindi ang sarili niyang birthday. Sa aking pananaw, 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. (As the father of the country, he prioritizes the welfare of the country instead of [celebrating] his birthday. For now, he is focused on what needs to be done —and I am always here to support President Duterte),” he added.
‘’Isa sa kanyang mga bilin ay para sa DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) kung saan sinabi niya na dapat mabigyan ng tulong lahat ng pinaka-nangangailangan lalo na ang poorest of the poor. Kasama rin sa bilin ng Pangulo ay ang patuloy na pagdarasal ng taumbayan lalong lalo na para sa kapakanan ng ating mga frontliners — mga health workers, doctors, nurses at pati na rin ang military at kapulisan na ginagampanan ang kanilang mga tungkulin para protektahan tayong lahat. Sabi ng Pangulo na dapat mabilisang maibigay lahat ng suporta at tulong sa kanila bilang mga bayani sa gyerang ito (One of his instructions for the DSWD is to help all those who are in need, especially the poorest of poor. The President also called on Filipinos 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 performing their duties for the protection of everybody. The President said that all the support and help should be extended to them as they are the heroes of this battle),” Go said.
“Dalawang beses po kami nagkausap sa telepono ngayong araw. Una ay 6:30 ng umaga. 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 (Today, I have talked to him twice on the telephone. First at 6:30 in the morning. Now, that it is his birthday, it is sad that he is alone. He only asked one thing from the Filipinos—what you can offer me as a gift is to follow the rules and STAY AT HOME,” Go said.