FPRRD honored despite no-show at Datu Bago Awards

Councilor Pilar Braga says FPRRD has to rush to a friend in need
The plaque of recognition for former President Rodrigo Duterte during the 52nd Conferment of Datu Bago Awards 2024, on Wednesday evening, March 13, 2024, at the Arcadia Event Center, Matina, Davao City. Duterte, however, was absent during the event.
The plaque of recognition for former President Rodrigo Duterte during the 52nd Conferment of Datu Bago Awards 2024, on Wednesday evening, March 13, 2024, at the Arcadia Event Center, Matina, Davao City. Duterte, however, was absent during the event.Ramcez Villegas/SunStar Photo

FORMER President Rodrigo Duterte was absent at the 52nd Conferment of Datu Bago Awards on Wednesday evening, March 13, 2024.

Councilor Pilar Braga confirmed in her speech that Duterte would not be able to attend this year's Datu Bago Awards due to attending to a friend in need. She said, "He would sacrifice his own pain and glory, moments, such as this moment, to rush to a friend in need, thus, his absence tonight." 

However, she did not specify the identity of the "friend" Duterte needed to attend to.

Braga mentioned Duterte's history of declining awards, even during his tenure as mayor of Davao City, preferring to serve the people as their public servant. 

"Most of us know that during his long stint as City Mayor, he has refused to receive any award or recognition for himself," she said. "Humbly always saying that he is only doing his job and he should not be rewarded for doing it well because people, especially in public service, must always do their job well."

Despite his absence, Braga said Duterte would still be given the Datu Bago Award, whether he likes it or not. 

Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain received the award on his behalf and praised Duterte's 22 years of decisive and transformative governance in the city, stating, "Under your tenure, Davao City experienced significant changes and progress, transforming it into the safest and most vibrant economic urban centers in the Philippines."

Meanwhile, in a Facebook post, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go congratulated Duterte for receiving the award and expressed that it was long overdue. "It’s long overdue, matagal na po ito. At siya po talaga ang pinaka deserving na Dabawenyo na makakuha ng award na ito (It's long overdue. And he is really the most deserving Dabawenyo to get this award)," he wrote, adding that Duterte would continue to serve, with or without an award. He said he's witnessed Duterte's dedication, strength, and love for public service. 

Duterte is the sole recipient of this year's Datu Bago Award, according to Braga, who stated that the award is centered on what he has done for the city.

The Board of Trustees for the Datu Bago Awards has suspended the acceptance of nominees for this year. Initially, there were five applicants for the awards. However, they will now be considered for next year's awarding.

The Datu Bago Awards is the city government's highest honor bestowed upon outstanding Dabawenyos who have contributed to the city's growth and development. RGP

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