Palace spokesperson Harry Roque defended President Rodrigo Duterte amid criticisms that the president was acting poor for photo ops after netizens spotted he had lechon for his 76th birthday in Davao City.
Roque told Unang Balita on Monday that those who criticized Duterte, including Bayan Muna party-list Representative Ferdinand Gaite, showed “crab mentality.”
“Tingin ko naman utak talangka lang po ‘yan. Birthday naman po ng Presidente, 76th, ang importante hindi po magarbo ang selebrasyon,” he said.
(That’s just crab mentality. The important thing is the President’s 76th birthday celebration was not extravagant.)
Gaite earlier said, “Acting poor for your birthday photo ops when you’re not really poor is just mocking those who truly have nothing to put on their tables for their own birthdays.”
However, Roque said Duterte had never once claimed that he is among the poor and hungry.
Criticisms on Duterte’s birthday celebration just crab mentality: Roque
In a post shared by Duterte’s former aid and now Senator Bong Go, Duterte could be seen blowing a single candle planted on a cup of rice.
However, a video that was later deleted showed there is a “lechon” during his celebration. In the Filipino culture, roasted pigs are served during grand celebrations since lechon is costly, especially now that there is a shortage of pork supply in the country due to ASF.
“Simple lunch lang naman talaga. Sila-sila lang pamilya sa munting tahanan niya sa Davao. Ganun naman mag-birthday PRRD [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte]. Wala pa ngang bihis,” Go said, according to GMA News’ Joseph Morong.
“Presidente ‘yan. Ayaw n’yo ba pakainin man lang ng pagkain na kinakain naman ng ordinaryong Pilipino kahit saan…kahit man lang sa kaarawan niya?
“Sa mga bumabatikos kay Pangulo, tingin kayo sa salamin. Mas cute pa ang lechon sa inyo,” Go added.
(He’s the President. Do you not want him to eat what ordinary Filipinos themselves eat anywhere, even on his birthday? To those of you criticizing the President, look in the mirror. The lechon is cuter than you.)
Bong Go also had this today:
“Per PRRD, labinlimang apo at kasambahay ang kumain. Ano pala ipapakain nya?”
(Per PRRD, 15 grandchildren and household helpers ate. What was he supposed to feed them?)