No public engagements for Rody on birthday
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 27, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Not used to throwing grand parties, President Duterte will likely celebrate his 72nd birthday tomorrow privately, his spokesman said.

“He does not seem to have any public engagements on that day,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said yesterday when asked about Duterte’s schedule for March 28.

Last Thursday, Duterte said he would rather spend the occasion with his family, especially his grandchildren.

“I would be very glad to spend my time with my newest grandson Stone and the rest of my children and grandchildren. That would have been the greatest gift that I can ask in this planet,” the President said.

Duterte has said he does not need expensive gifts, noting that he and his siblings were taught to be frugal.

“I do not want any drama. We were migrants then in Mindanao… Kasi nagtitipid ’yung pamilya (our family was saving money) and all that we did and every one of us, I don’t know. But most of my siblings, we follow the same rule. We just sleep off the day,” the President said.

He has never been known to throw lavish birthday parties even when he was mayor of Davao City for 23 years and one term (three years) each as vice mayor and House representative.

“I’m not trying to be a spoiler. I do not have any drama and that’s for real… God would only give you the things that you deserve. He does not give you things that you do not deserve or are not entitled to,” he added.

But if there is one thing that he’d be happy receiving, it would be the prayers that he be given strength to do his work for the country.

“I already have everything. I’ve reached the apex of my career. Materials things (are of) no use to me. I am 72 years old,” Duterte stressed.

If he would have his way, he would ask God to give him more time to do his job.

“Twenty-four hours is not really enough for the presidency, unless you want to sleep more than just about four hours,” Duterte said. “I only ask God to give me a little bit of time, a little strength to surmount the problems of the country and that I’d be able, not really to solve but maybe mitigate some of the rigors of governance.” – With Edith Regalado

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