President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. greeted former President Rodrigo Duterte on his 78th birthday on Tuesday and vowed to continue the projects of the previous administration.
“What a pleasure for me to wish a happy birthday sa ating predecessor, PRRD. Happy birthday to you, Mr. President. Ngayon naiintindihan ko na kung bakit kung minsan ay noong president ka napapamura ka (Now I know why you cursed when you were still president). Now I know why,” Marcos said in the video greeting to his predecessor.
“Don’t worry about the projects you started, as we will continue to work on it. We will continue to make sure that those projects that you started will be successful and I am glad that I am able to continue the good work that you started,” he added.
Mr. Marcos’s running mate in the May 2022 national elections was Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, who won the country’s vice presidency and assumed the post of Secretary of the Department of Education.
House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez also extended his well wishes—two, actually—to the former Chief Executive.
“Happy 78th Birthday, Former President Rodrigo Duterte!” he said in a social media post.
“We wish that the Lord continuously grants you a healthy body and long-lasting happiness together with your loved ones. Again, happy birthday to you!” Romualdez added.
The Leyte 1st district representative and president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), served as the House Majority Leader during the second half of the Duterte administration.
Apart from being an administration ally during Duterte’s presidency from 2016 to 2022, he also served as the campaign manager of then-UniTeam vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio, who was later named Lakas-CMD chairperson.
Mr. Marcos likewise encouraged Duterte to find time to “relax” since he had all the time to do so after retiring from politics.
“I don’t know kung makapag-relax ka (if you have time to relax) because after a lifetime of work, I don’t know if you still know how to take it easy but if you got the chance, please have a good celebration. Happy, Happy birthday PRRD!” he added.
Earlier this month, Mr. Marcos said well-studied infrastructure projects from previous administrations must continue for the benefit of the nation.
In his vlog released on Saturday, Marcos said his administration recently approved 194 high-impact infrastructure projects under the “Build Better More” infrastructure program amounting to more than P9 trillion.
Of the 194 projects, 123 are initiatives under the current administration while the remaining 71 were from the Duterte administration, all aiming to address digital connectivity, flood control, irrigation, water supply, health, and power and energy.
Duterte, a lawyer, was Davao City mayor and congressman before becoming the 16th president of the Philippines from 2016 to 2022.
Known as Tatay Digong to his fans and supporters, he is the country’s first president from Mindanao, and the oldest to assume office at the age of 71.