Malacanang wished President Rodrigo Duterte health on Thursday as he celebrates his 74th birthday.
“As Mayor Duterte celebrates his 74th birthday, we pray the Almighty to continue giving him a sound mind and a healthy body, that he may finish the goals he had set for the betterment of the country and people that he loved so well towards a future of progress and prosperity,” Presidential Spokesman Salvado Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo added, “Maligayang kaarawan mahal na Pangulo! Basbasan kayo ng Dakilang Lumikha upang maipag patuloy ninyo ang sinimulan ninyo ng pagbabago sa ating bansa.”
Duterte will spend his birthday quietly with his family and loved ones in Davao City, according to the Palace spokesman.
“The presidency has not changed his simple lifestyle, no frills but certainly plenty of thrills,” said Panelo.
Panelo said Filipinos are blessed and privileged for having a dedicated president steering the country to be free from drugs and crimes and make each Filipino enjoy a comfortable life.
“As we approach the midpoint of his term, we have witnessed the daily toil of this tough but compassionate man in making good his campaign promises, and now as Chief Executive, relentlessly and tirelessly performing his constitutional duty to serve and protect the people,” said Panelo.
“His sense of duty and fidelity to the country not only inspires and motivates workers in the government to serve the people well but moves the rest of society to march in cadence with him as he breathes life to the winds of change he has spurred,” he added.
Panelo enumerated Duterte’s relentless pursuits as leader.
“He has pursued his war against illegal drugs with single mindedness as he destroys the drug apparatus in the country and like a knighted warrior slays the dragon of corruption, axing an unprecedented number of errant officials and scoundrels without regard to their relation to him, even as he works steadfastly in giving Filipinos a better life with free college education, free universal healthcare and medicine, free irrigation to farmers, free feeding program for undernourished school children, salary increase of soldiers, policemen, firemen and government workers, higher SSS pension of senior citizens and old-age pension of veterans, among many other changes in the social and political landscape,” said Panelo.