Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque lambasted those who criticized President Rodrigo Duterte over his “simple” birthday celebration.
The president is in Davao City as he celebrates his 76th birthday on Sunday.
His long-time aide Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go took to social media wherein he posted a snap of his birthday celebration.
Duterte’s birthday celebration appeared to be simple. In fact, in a photo, he can be seen blowing out a candle placed on top of a cup of rice.
But, a video made rounds online showing a Lechon at his dinner table.
In an interview with ANC’s Headstart, Roque stressed: “I don’t think the President ever pretended to be poor. He has always been known as simple. That is why he did not have guests on his birthday.”
“There may have been food served for special occasions, but that did not violate any sense of decency. There was no extravagant show of wealth because the President was in t-shirt and shorts and celebrated only with his family,” he said.
“It’s really crab mentality for anyone to suggest that the President was pretending. No, the President never pretends, he is known for his authenticity. He has simple celebrations and I think that’s what happened on his birthday,” he added.
According to Roque, President Duterte is “as healthy as any 76 (year-old) person could be” and “continues to discharge the functions of the presidency at a time of the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, Duterte is expected to return to Manila on Monday.
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