PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte congratulated on Wednesday, July 28, Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz and pledged to give her P3 million and a fully-furnished house and lot in Zamboanga City.
Diaz, who bagged Monday, July 26, the country’s first Olympic gold medal in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting category, will also receive the Presidential Medal of Merit.
According to Executive Order 236, Series of 2003, the Presidential Medal of Merit will be given to a Filipino or foreign national “for gaining prestige for the country in an international event, in the fields of literature, the sciences, the arts, entertainment, and other civilian fields of endeavor that foster national pride and artistic excellence.”
Duterte said the medal will be given to Diaz in appropriate ceremonies.
“Your achievement is the achievement of the Philippine nation. We are extremely proud. We cannot even express even in words of how we should really be shouting halleluiah,” Duterte told Diaz in a virtual courtesy call Wednesday, July 28.
He also thanked Diaz for the hard work and told her to forget the “years of toil and disappointments.”
“I hope that the years of toil. The years of disappointments and the years na hindi maganda ang nangyari in the past. Just forget them. You already have the gold. Gold is gold. And it would be good for you to let bygones be bygones and dwell solely on your victory together with your family and, of course, with the nation,” he said.
He said that on top of the P10 million Diaz will receive from the government, the Olympic gold medalist will also receive P3 million from him.
“P3 million galing sa akin, P10 million galing sa gobyerno talaga,” Duterte said.
He also told Diaz that she will receive a fully-furnished house and lot in her hometown Zamboanga City.
“You are a member of the Armed Forces and alam mo naman na may mga housing projects ako for soldiers. So dyan sa Zamboanga, meron akong projects para sa mga house and lot sa mga sundalo. So hindi mo na ito kailangan, but maybe someday, may mga relatives ka, o kapatid mo sundalo rin, you might just keep it this time and think of what you should be doing,” he said.
“Ayusin mo mabuti ang buhay mo. You've been blessed by God. This will help your family,” the President added.
He told Diaz to communicate with him and that the country is proud for what she has achieved.
“Over and above all these monetary considerations, it's always the honor that you brought to the country that counts most. So, mabuhay ka at ako naman ang magsaludo sayo,” Duterte said.
Diaz arrived in the country Wednesday, July 28, from Tokyo, Japan where the 2020 Summer Olympics is being held. (Laureen Mondoñedo-Ynot)