Duterte tells Rizal descendants: I wish I were one of you

Friday, January 6th, 2017. Filed under: New Year's Day News Philippine News
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea (shaking hands with the President) greets Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday morning (Dec. 30, 2016) shortly after he and other cabinet secretaries arrive at the Rizal Monument for the 120th commemoration of Dr. Jose Rizal's martyrdom at the Luneta Park. (MNS photo)

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea (shaking hands with the President) greets Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday morning (Dec. 30, 2016) shortly after he and other cabinet secretaries arrive at the Rizal Monument for the 120th commemoration of Dr. Jose Rizal’s martyrdom at the Luneta Park. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Dec 30 (Mabuhay) –After leading Friday’s rites marking the 120th death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, President Rodrigo Duterte took time to chat with descendants of the national hero and told them that he wished he were one of them.

Duterte bowed before Rizal’s relatives led by the 1964 Miss International Gemma Cruz-Araneta and said, “I wish I could be one of you.”

In response, Rizal’s descendants said, “You are” [one of us].

Duterte then uttered words of regret why his family came from Visayas and Mindanao.

“Kung may magtanong sabihin mo na lang na distant relative. Okay na iyon,” Duterte said while posing for photos with them.

To console him, Rizal’s family pointed out that Jose Rizal also spent time in Mindanao, specifically in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte.

“It is my honor to meet you guys. I said how I wish I could be one of you,” Duterte repeated before moving on to greet the other guests. (MNS)

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