MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday sympathized with mothers who lost their children in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
Duterte, in a public address, comforted mothers whose children died serving in the front lines of the fight against the virus. The Philippines marked Mothers' Day last Sunday.
"Yung mga nanay na nawala ang anak fighting COVID, doing the highest, noble endeavor one can do in this world, is to serve your fellow man, you have our kind thoughts and prayers," the President said in a taped address.
(To the mothers who lost their children fighting COVID, doing the highest, noble endeavor one can do in this world, is to serve your fellow man, you have our kind thoughts and prayers.)
"Lahat naman namamatay pero ang ginawa nila, yun ang baon nila sa kanilang universal identity -- that they did something for their fellow man," he said.
(Everyone dies but what they did is something that will be part of their universal identity -- that they did something for their fellow man.)
As of Monday, the Philippines has 1,991 health workers infected with COVID-19.
The 75-year-old leader also paid tribute to his late mother Soledad and credited her for his ascent to the presidency.
"I also remember my mother, Soledad. She was a very good mother to me. Look what happened. Naging presidente tuloy ako (I became president)," he said.
Duterte's mother was a public school teacher in their hometown, Davao City. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 95.
Now that he is president, Duterte said his mother "must be smiling or she must be in a state of wonderment" on how he ended up as the leader of the Philippines.
"Maybe God has chosen me to work for the national government to help my fellow men," he said.