Belgian is Rody’s chef at Malacañang

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A Belgian who speaks fluent Cebuano will be manning the kitchen at Malacañang when incoming president Rodrigo Duterte assumes office on June 30.

Duterte introduced Peter de Cauwer as his personal chef to journalists at Hotel Elena in Davao City yesterday dawn.

De Cauwer is married to a Filipina. He is a food consultant, master chef and master baker.

De Cauwer said he can cook very well Duterte’s favorite dishes, including sautéed mung beans (ginisang munggo), fried dried fish and dried squid, corned beef in garlic, and fish poached in vinegar broth (paksiw na isda).

“I have no problem with those food, I could do them,” De Cauwer said, adding he looks forward to serving Duterte in Malacañang. 

Although there are no restrictions in the Davao City mayor’s diet, he said he is not fond of having several dishes served in one meal. He also does not like chocolates.

“I am a very simple man with one viand and rice only. It would be enough for me,” Duterte added.

Toperjay Pore Quijano also expressed interest to cook for the next president.

Quijano said he was four years old when he got lost in an event in Rizal Park in downtown Davao City. It was Duterte who comforted him and brought him up the stage to sit beside the mayor.  

Quijano said now that he is a cook, he would like to serve Duterte in the Palace.

Presidential plane as ambulance

Duterte said he plans to use the fleet of presidential aircraft as air ambulance for emergency situations and disasters to transport people to safety.

“Might as well use those aircraft to help our fellowmen in times of need,” he said. 

Duterte said he might use the jet of his friend, evangelist Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, in some of his trips or ride commercial planes.

Duterte is also studying the possibility of selling the BRP Pangulo presidential yacht to the highest bidder to raise funds for the modernization of Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City.

The yacht was acquired by the government in 1959 as part of Japan’s war reparations to the country.

Duterte said while the yacht is historic, it would be properly maintained by its new owner.

The BRP Pangulo was first used by President Carlos Garcia and was  initially christened RPS Lapu-Lapu and served as the flagship of the Philippine Navy until December 1961.

The following year, President Diosdado Macapagal ordered the ship’s conversion into a troop transport and renamed the ship after President Manuel Roxas. The rechristening ceremony was officiated by Trinidad Roxas, the late president’s widow.

The Marcoses used the yacht to host lavish parties for their friends.

The vessel was later renamed RPS The President. President Ferdinand Marcos renamed the vessel BRP Ang Pangulo and restored its use as presidential yacht.

On its 50th commissioning anniversary in 2009, then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo renamed the ship BRP Pagasa before it was reverted to Ang Pangulo in 2011.

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