President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday greeted his predecessor, former president Rodrigo R. Duterte, a happy birthday, vowing to continue the good projects and programs he began during his term.
“What a pleasure for me to wish happy birthday to ating (my) predecessor, PRRD. Happy birthday to you, Mr. President,” he said in a video message uploaded on his official Facebook page.
Nine months since being sworn into office, Marcos joked about finally being able to relate to Duterte’s stressors when he was chief executive.
“Ngayon naiintindihan ko na kung bakit kung minsan ay noong President ka napapamura ka (Now I understand why you used to curse when you were president). Now I know why,” he quipped.
Marcos promised to pursue projects and programs that started during Duterte’s term.
“Pero huwag niyong inaalala lahat ng magandang sinimulan ninyo (But don’t worry about all the good things you started), 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 said.
He 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, 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 PHP9 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.
Marcos won the 2022 presidential race via a landslide victory.
Vice President Sara Duterte, the former president’s daughter, was the running mate of Marcos. (PNA)