Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has nothing but love and respect for his boss and friend President Duterte.
The defense chief recently posted on Facebook five attributes about the President when he celebrated his 76th birthday on March 28. He is hoping the President’s personal elements, from his kindness to humor, would help people get to know more about the former Davao City mayor.
“A lot of people ask why he’s the highest rating President ever, from the time he assumed office up to now. Ito ay dahil nararamdaman ng mga mamamayan ang tunay na serbisyo. Sa kabila ng mga pagbatikos ng ilan sa kanyang pamumuno, hindi sapat ang mga ito upang mawala ang paggalang at tiwala ng karamihan sa mga mamamayan sa kanya bilang isang lider at ama ng bayan,” Lorenzana said.
“For his 76th birthday, let me introduce him to you in a more personal way. Here are 5 things you may not know about the President,” he said.
Lorenzana said the President is “selfless.”
“1. He is selfless. Malambot ang kanyang puso sa mga mahihirap,” he said.
Duterte and Lorenzana don’t always agree on issues. Lorenzana however said the President listens and respects others’ opinion.
“2. He listens. We’ve had our fair share of contradicting ideas but despite his high rank, he respected my opinion and position,” he said.
Lorenzana said Duterte is kind, even to perceived enemies of the state. Duterte set aside government funds to provide shelter, land and livelihood to communist rebels who surrender to authorities.
“He’s genuinely kind,” he said.
“Noong nalaman niya na malaking halaga ang ginagastos sa ating kampanya laban sa mga NPA, iniutos niyang gamitin ang porsyento nito para hikayatin silang bumaba at tustusan ang pagkakaroon nila ng pangkabuhayan, lupa at bahay. Kaya nagkaroon ng Task Force Balik-Loob para sa mga rebeldeng nais magbalik-loob sa lipunan,” he said.
Duterte is also funny, said Lorenzana.
“4. He has a humorous side. He always jokes that I am pro-US and even called me a CIA agent because I lived in the US for 14 years. The opposition calls him pro-China but we are neither. We are ardent pro-Filipinos,” he said.
Duterte does not use modern smartphones. He’s old school, said the country’s defense chief.
“5. He’s very old school. He still uses an old analog phone, I think it’s a Nokia 2110 or 3110 model,” he said.
Lorenzana and Duterte have been friends since the latter served as mayor of Davao City. Lorenzana met Duterte when he served as commander of the Army’s second Scout Ranger Battalion in Davao City in the late 1980s.