‘Thank you, PBB’: Sara Duterte flying presidential chopper to get to kids

September 13, 2022 - 5:15 PM
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Sara Duterte_250 PAW
Vice President Sara Duterte poses in the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing of the Philippine Air Force in this photo from her Facebook page on Sept. 13, 2022. (Facebook/MayorIndaySaraDuterteOfficial)

The second-highest ranking official in the country thanked the chief executive on his birthday for lending her a helicopter to attend to her children personally.

Vice President Sara Duterte on Tuesday greeted President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on his birthday, September 13, by sharing pictures and a message on her Facebook page.

She thanked him for letting her use his 250th Presidential Airlift Wing (PAW) so that she could be “home in time” to “tuck” her children to bed.

“Thank you for putting a premium on the desire of a working mother to be present in her children’s lives,” Duterte said in her birthday message.

The vice president has three children, namely Mikhaila Maria or “Sharky,” Mateo Lucas or “Stingray” and Marko Digong or “Stonefish.”

“I wish God’s favor upon you as you celebrate your birthday and pray that you are given the strength and wisdom for the difficult road ahead. Happy Birthday! I wish you good health and happiness,” Duterte added in her message.

Marcos turns 65 years old on Tuesday.

Duterte’s post has earned 12,000 comments and 3,300 shares on the social networking platform so far.

Sara Duterte_bday message BBM
Screengrab by Interaksyon from Facebook/MayorIndaySaraDuterteOfficial)

The 250th PAW, also called “Bluebirds,” is one of the premier flying units of the Philippine Air Force.

It is mandated to provide air transport for the president, immediate members of his or her family, visiting heads of state or government, and other local or foreign VIPs.

Reactions

Duterte’s post, meanwhile, touched some Filipinos who admired her choice to prioritize her family.

“Wow, awesome and very good role model in professional partnership indeed! Plus, both of you [put] your family on top always. Salute to you both, our dear leaders! May you be richly blessed by placing your full trust in the Lord,” a Facebook user wrote.

“So touching… May the Lord bless both of you as you lead our beloved country,” another online user said.

“Wow! Both family oriented. Happy birthday to our President and success to both of you, VP!” exclaimed a different Pinoy.

Others, however, were more critical of Duterte’s usage of the state-owned chopper.

“This is where our taxes go,” market analyst John Paul Tanyag wrote in response to the picture.

“That’s people’s money! Dapat sa mga Pilipino [siya] magpasalamat!” a Twitter user commented.

“I paid for that. You’re welcome,” another online user wrote, sharing a screengrab of his payslip which featured an amount of tax deductions.

Duterte previously earned attention for proposing a P500 million confidential fund for her office as vice president.

The said funds, which are for 2023, will be reportedly used to support projects related to national security.

Her spokesperson, Reynold Munsayac, said it would be spent in compliance with existing guidelines from the Department of Budget and Management and the Commission on Audit.

“The position and mandate of the vice president allows her to utilize those kinds of funds regarding peace and order and national security, especially since we have livelihood projects that will be implemented in conflict areas in our attempt to maintain peace and order and pursue national security projects,” he said before.