- Senator Bong Go came to the defense of President Duterte after a video showed the table where the latter is having a simple birthday celebration is filled with food including a lechon
- The senator earlier posted a photo of the President about to blow out a candle placed on top of what appears to be one cup serving of rice
- The photo appeared to indicate there was no other food at the table, not even a birthday cake to put a candle on
- The video, which was later deleted, appeared to show a different story
Senator Bong Go defended the “simple birthday celebration” of President Rodrigo Duterte after a video, which was later deleted, surfaced online showing the table where the leader sat was full of food after all.
It also showed a whole roast pig placed at one section of the same table.
Earlier, Sen. Go uploaded a photo of the President about to blow out a candle placed on top of a serving of rice. It also showed the President’s plate containing a small portion of what seems to be pancit.
The photo did not show anything else, giving the appearance that the President has no other food on the table when he celebrated his “simple” birthday party.
A video that later surfaced online, however, refuted this. In the now-deleted video, one can see that the table is laden with several other foods, including a roasted whole pig or lechon.
Opposition figures like Bayan Muna Representative Ferdinand Gaite immediately called out what he referred to as a “photo op.”
“Acting poor for your birthday photo ops when you're not really poor is just mocking those who truly have nothing to put on their tables for their own birthdays,” he posted on Twitter.
It was unclear who uploaded and later deleted the video, though some news outfits like the Inquirer were able to take a screenshot of it.
The presence of many types of food and lechon has sparked anger online, not because it was there, but due to the alleged attempt of Sen. Go’s photos to portray the President in a pitiful situation at his own birthday celebration, as highlighted by well-known personalities.
Sen. Go, for his part, defended the President emphasizing that it was really a simple lunch.
“Simple lunch lang naman talaga. Sila-sila lang pamilya sa munting tahanan niya sa Davao. Ganun naman mag-birthday PRRD [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte]. Wala pa ngang bihis,” the senator said as quoted by GMA News.
The report also quoted Go as saying that Duterte is a president and he also deserves to eat food eaten by ordinary Filipinos, even only at his birthday, adding that the latter has about 15 grandchildren and house-helpers who ate with the president. “Ano pala ipapakain nya?” Go asked.
“Sa mga bumabatikos kay Pangulo, tingin kayo sa salamin. Mas cute pa ang lechon sa inyo,” retorted Sen. Go to critics.
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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who is also known as Rody, Digong, and Tatay, was born on March 28, 1945 in Maasin, Southern Leyte. He studied political science at the Lyceum of the Philippines University, and graduated in 1968. He then took up Law at the San Beda College of Law in 1972. Upon passing the Bar exams, he worked as a lawyer and was a prosecutor for Davao City, before becoming vice mayor and, subsequently, mayor of the city in the wake of the Philippine Revolution of 1986. He served as mayor of Davao for more than 22 years.
Aside from the most recent controversy about his birthday celebration, the President experienced a string of controversies ever since he took office. One of the biggest is his “hands-off” policy on the shutdown of ABS-CBN, though opposition legislators like Francis Pangilinan has said the President had a direct hand in the network’s closure. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has said that the President is “neutral” regarding the issue. The Presidential Spokesperson also said that the President cannot intervene with the decision-making of National Telecommunications Commission.
About a week ago, President Duterte ordered the investigation on reports of an actor jumping the priority list and getting vaccinated. He said that while the matter is trivial in ordinary times, vaccine donations come with conditions that calls for the prioritization of health workers.
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