Duterte salutes Olympian gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz in an online reception
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte added P 3 million and a house and lot to the bounty of Air Force Sgt. Hidilyn Diaz, the country’s first gold medalist in the Olympic games.
In an online reception call with Diaz after her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, President Duterte congratulated the latest Olympic sensation and counseled her to get over the “bad things that happened in the past.”
“We cannot express even in words how we should be shouting hallelujah. Salamat sa pagtiis mo. I hope that the years of toil, the years of disappointment, and the years na hindi maganda ang nangyari in the past, just forget them,” he said.
He said Hidilyn already has the gold medal.
“Gold is gold. It would be good for you to let bygones be bygones and dwell solely on your victory together with your family, and of course, the nation,” the Chief Executive added.
It will be recalled Hidilyn grabbed the Gold medal in the -55kg category as she established a new Olympic record last Monday night.
Diaz returned to Manila aboard Philippine Airlines PR 427 early evening Wednesday.
Aside from the Presidential Medal of Merit, a fully furnished house and lot in Zamboanga awaits the first Filipino gold medalist.
President Duterte said Hidilyn Diaz’s achievement is the achievement for the country and everyone is proud of her feat.
“Ako naman ang magsaludo sa ‘yo. Yes, ma’am,” President Duterte stood and gave the Olympian a salute.
“Thank you so much, President. Thank you po,” Diaz replied.
She is expected to receive some P35 million in incentives from the government, political figures and businessmen. She was given a house and lot in Tagaytay City and a condominium unit in Eastwood aside from a lifetime privilege of free flights and travel and fuel from different companies.
Diaz has been billeted at Hotel Sofitel Manila for the next seven days of the required quarantine for returning Filipinos. (Melo M. Acuña)
President Duterte receives Filipina Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz in online reception. (Screen grab from Video courtesy of PCOO/RTVM)