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PH peace, progress Rody’s Christmas wish

President Duterte wished for peace and progress in his first Christmas as Chief Executive.

“My beloved countrymen, as we remember the birth of our savior Jesus Christ, let us celebrate with genuine compassion and desire to foster hopes in our hearts,” Duterte said in a video message. “This Yuledtide season, I wish for peace, order, progress, for our country,” he added.

“Greeting you all a very merry Christmas, my family, my fellow workers in government, and let us all look forward for the coming of a new year with great happiness,” Duterte said.

The 71-year-old former mayor will celebrate Christmas in his hometown Davao City.

But it seems there won’t be much of a difference as he would still spend it the way he did in the past.

Duterte returned to Davao City Thursday night after gracing the Convergence of Nanay Volunteers as Community Drugwatch in Clark Field, Angeles City, Pampanga.

He was scheduled to conduct his traditional visit to cancer patients in Davao City last night. “Kung hindi po mabago iyong schedule ay magkakaroon po ng usual na visit ang ating Pangulo tuwing Christmas Eve dito po sa mga cancer patient sa Davao,” said Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in an interview over State-run Radyo ng Bayan.

The Chief Executive will also open up his home to the poor, said the Palace official. “Usually binubuksan niya iyong kanyang tahanan, sa clubhouse, sa ating mga kababayan na mahihirap sa Davao City. Then meron pong Christmas party ng Pangulo na binibisita din po iyong mga kaibigan…sa Davao City,” according to Andanar.

Last Monday, Duterte played Santa Claus to the Presidential Security Group as he joined their Christmas boodle fight. The President distributed gifts to the PSG that include the their Christmas bonus of P5,000, combat pay, 14th month pay, and P5,000 from the Office of the President. Educational benefits were also given to their children.

Duterte was joined by his common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña and their daughter Veronica in a Christmas party in Malacañang. (ELENA L. ABEN)

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