Philippines

Duterte wishes for end to pandemic on his birthday

By Azer Parrocha  

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (File photo)

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – As he turns 76 on March 28, President Rodrigo R. Duterte wishes nothing more than “the end to the pandemic”, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte is hoping that life will “go back to normal” so his administration could focus on reviving the economy back to pre-crisis levels.

“I’m sure the President wishes an end to this pandemic at nais po niyang lahat tayo ay makabalik po sa buhay nating mga normal. Ibig sabihin babalik tayo dun sa napakataas na ating growth rate taon-taon because ang kaniyang pangako ay mas kumportableng buhay sa lahat (and he wants all of us can go back to our normal life. This means he wants the country to return to high growth rates yearly because his promise is a more comfortable life for all),” Roque said in a virtual press briefing.

Roque said Duterte is also determined to continue efforts to fulfil his campaign promise of providing a comfortable life for all Filipinos.

“Despite Covid I’m sure ang kaniyang birthday wish ay matupad pa rin yung mas kumportableng buhay, yung makabangon ang lahat mula dito sa pandemiyang ito (Despite Covid, I’m sure his birthday wish is for comfortable life for all to come true and that all of us will be able to overcome this pandemic),” he added.

Duterte usually celebrates his birthdays in his hometown, Davao City except last year when he opted to spend it in Manila City to oversee pandemic response efforts.

He spent his 75th birthday under isolation in Malacañan Palace.

Last year, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, his former aide, said Duterte can only have fun when the 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.

In a pre-recorded public address aired last March 15, Duterte expressed optimism that Filipinos would be able to overcome the pandemic.

“I will just say to my countrymen that do not despair. Kaya natin ito Covid na ito. Maliit na bagay ito sa buhay natin. Marami tayong dinaanan mas ano, mas grabe, mas mahirap, mas magluluha kayo (We can prevail over this Covid. It is just a small thing in our life. We have been through worse, more difficult ones that brought you more tears,” he said.

Duterte is the oldest Filipino politician to be elected President in Philippine history. His term will end in June next year. (PNA)

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