News Release

President Duterte graces former DFA Sec. Cayetano’s birthday celebration

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano during the latter's thanksgiving dinner and 48th birthday celebration held at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City on October 28, 2018. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday, October 28, graced the 48th birthday celebration and thanksgiving of former Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.

In his remarks, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to Cayetano, “a very good man,” for having worked alongside him in the government.

“I’d like to convey to you, Alan, my gratitude and my heartfelt thanks for joining the Cabinet, helping me in the hours of my distress as a government worker and as a friend. It was an honor running with you,” said President Duterte.

Cayetano served as DFA Secretary from May 2017 to October 2018. He was also President Duterte’s running mate in the 2016 Presidential elections.

The Chief Executive recalled some of the works he and Cayetano have done in advancing the Philippines’ interest in the international community and assisting millions of Filipinos abroad.

Meanwhile, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi, who was also present at the celebration, lauded Cayetano for championing the Philippines’ national interest when he was Foreign Affairs Secretary. “He is a political leader with a strong sense of responsibility,” the Foreign Minister said.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Philippine government, noting that the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Davao City, which was inaugurated on the same day, as a proof of both governments’ deepening relations.

For his part, President Duterte conveyed the Philippines’ “happiness” with the present trade relations between the two countries.

“I’d like to assure the Foreign Minister that the Philippines is very happy with the present trade and our whatever agricultural consciousness of our race and the fact that you have provided livelihood at least to a lot of people if you think about the importations that you have allowed my country,” he said.

“We have normalized our relationship, and I thank you, China, for all the things that you have done for me. I just also [want to] remind you that here in Davao, we have the largest Chinese community,” he added.###PND