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Datu Bago organizers say FPRRD had a good reason to skip event

THE ABSENCE of former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the 52nd conferment of the Datu Bago Awards on Wednesday night, March 14, was very noticeable, considering he was the lone awardee this year. 

However, Councilor Pilar Braga, the Datu Bago Award Organization Board of Trustees chairperson, said FPRRD had a very good reason to skip the prestigious event. 

In her opening message, Braga said, “One of the most admiring personal traits of Mayor Digong is his being fiercely loyal to his friends. He would sacrifice his own personal fame and glory, moments such as this moment to rush to a friend in need, thus his absence tonight,” Braga said.

Braga did not share more details, including the identity of Duterte’s friend. She also recalled that the former mayor was never comfortable with praises or grand gestures, so he typically sent representatives to receive awards on his behalf. 

“It is time that this man who led the transformation of Davao City from its turbulent past into one of the most livable and most competitive cities in the entire country, thus the recognition he deserves,” she added.

To recall, the last lone Datu Bago awardee was Julian P. Rodriguez, Jr. in 2005. After 2005, there were about 2-4 awardees in the annual event.

Braga earlier revealed in the Aprubado sa Konseho media forum, on March 5, that the committee has to suspend five nominees for this year, but will be reconsidered in 2025.

However, Mayor Sebastian Duterte also did not attend the event, along with any of FPRRD’s family.  

Vice Mayor J. Melchor Quitain Jr. received the award in FPRRD’s stead at the Arcadia Event Center where the conferment was held. 

“Your stewardship as a Davao City Mayor for 22 years exemplifies decisive leadership and transformative governance. On behalf of all Dabawenyos, we thank you for all that you have given and for everything that you have done,” Quitain, reading Mayor Baste’s message for the awardee.

On Tuesday, March 12, FPRRD and Vice President Sara Duterte delivered their respective speeches during the Laban Kasama ang Bayan prayer rally for Pastor Apollo Quiboloy on Tuesday, March 12, at Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila.

The vice president slammed the recent hearing of the cases filed against the pastor as slanderous and directionless.

The Senate on Monday issued a show-cause order against Quiboloy for failure to attend hearings on alleged sex crimes. The House of Representatives had also cited Quiboloy for contempt for his refusal to attend hearings of the house committee on legislative franchises over possible franchise violations of SMNI.

Datu Bago Awards, started in 1969, is the highest honor bestowed by the city government of Davao to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service, and leadership and have contributed to the welfare and advancement of Davaoeños.



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