Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday took to social media to “salute” former President Rodrigo Duterte on the latter’s 78th birthday, thanking him for his “big contribution to the country’s nation-building.”
“Of course no one is perfect, but as we all know, ang contribution ng tao na ‘to sa ating bansa ay napakalaki,” Cayetano told Facebook viewers in a six-minute livestream.
Calling Duterte a “very, very special person” to him and his wife Mayor Lani Cayetano of the City of Taguig, the senator shared a bit of information about the former President that only a few people know about: his love for reading.
“My small contribution in giving him greetings and a salute tonight is [to share with all of you] that he never stopped his passion na magbasa and to learn,” Cayetano said.
“President Duterte was a leader who was and is a reader,” he added.
Cayetano, who was the other half of the Du-Cay tandem in the 2016 national elections, told viewers about Duterte’s deep interest in reading books on geopolitics and leadership, which he said equipped the former President in dealing with issues on diplomatic relationships during his administration.
The senator cited the way Duterte made an effort to tighten the Philippines’s ties with countries other than the US such as Japan, Australia, South Korea, and the “new friends” Russia and China.
“Y’ung history at lalim po ng challenges sa pagitan ng mga bansang ito with each other, grabe po ang hugot ng ating Pangulo diyan because nga sa interes niya sa topic na ito at sa pagbabasa niya,” he said.
Cayetano asked the Facebook viewers, “anuman ang religion,” to pray with him and “ask the Holy Father to bless our former president during his birthday.”
“Lord Father God, please put peace and joy in his heart. Let him enjoy his retirement in the sense that he doesn’t have a public position, and his influence upon millions and millions of Filipinos,” he said in his prayer.
“In the same manner that we as Filipinos listen to his opinions, we ask that You give him the gift of wisdom so that he listens to the Holy Spirit,” he added.
Cayetano also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve the Filipino people side by side with Duterte.###