By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte was not able to attend the National Heroes’ Day celebration he was supposed to lead Monday morning because he was not feeling well, Senator Bong Go confirmed.
Go made the statement after Malacañang confirmed that Duterte will not be able to attend the ceremony, and will instead be represented by House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.
In an interview, Go said that Duterte was indisposed, and needed to rest. He, however, assured that there was nothing to worry about.
“Nothing to worry. He’s okay. Walang dapat ikabahala (There’s nothing to be worried about). He’s indisposed for today, for this morning,” he said.
“Kailangan magpahinga ng Pangulo. He’s indisposed, medyo masama ang pakiramdam. Siguro hindi maganda yung pakiramdam niya ngayong araw na ito (The President needed to rest. He’s indisposed, he’s not feeling well today),” he added.
According to Duterte’s former longtime aide, the President had a lot of activities over the weekend, including a meeting with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari.
“Maraming… ang dami naming mga lakad. Siya, si Pangulo maraming pinipirmahan. Noong nakaraang weekend, meron silang meeting ni Chairman Misuari at iba pang mga private… Marami siyang pinirmahan (We had a lot of activities. He signed a lot of documents. He met with Chairman Misuari, he had other private engagements),” Go said.
“Alam niyo 74 years old na po si Pangulong Duterte. Kahit naman po sino sa atin nakakaramdam tayo ng sakit. ‘Wag na lang po nating pilitin (You know, the President is 74 years old and any of us feel sick. Let’s just not force him),” he added.
Despite his absence in Monday morning’s ceremony, Go said President Duterte will be visiting the wake of a soldier who died in an encounter in Calbayog. He also assured that the President’s upcoming visit to China will push through.
“Tuloy. Tuloy. Tuloy po yun (His China trip will push through),” Go said.
In his National Heroes Day message read by Cayetano, Duterte called on Filipinos to emulate the patriotism of all those heroes who risked their lives for a better nation.
“I call on my fellow Filipinos to emulate the patriotism of all those heroes who came before us by supporting the government’s nation-building efforts, especially our campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, corruption, terrorism, poverty and environmental degradation,” Duterte’s message read.
The President also assured the administration’s commitment to creating an environment where every Filipino, regardless of ethnicity, political affiliation, religious belief, educational attainment, or financial capability, can become a hero in his own right.
“It is our obligation to build on the legacy of those brave men and women who offered their lives building the foundations of a better Filipino nation. We owe it to our heroes to be worthy heirs to this legacy,” the President said.
“I, therefore, ask my fellow Filipinos to set aside our differences so that together, we may shape a more dynamic and prosperous society that will serve as a cradle of future generations of Filipino heroes,” he added.