Duterte salutes Hidilyn Diaz, tells Olympic champ to let bygones be bygones

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2021 08:12 PM | Updated as of Jul 29 2021 07:56 AM

 Duterte rewards Diaz with additional P3M

Duterte salutes Hidilyn Diaz, tells Olympic champ to let bygones be bygones 1

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte has rewarded weightlfting champ Hidilyn Diaz an additional P3 million for her historic gold medal win in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In an online conference call with Diaz on Wednesday, shortly after her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Duterte congratulated the Olympic hero while urging her to forget the "bad things that happened in the past."

"We cannot express even in words how we should be shouting hallelujah. Salamat sa pagtiis mo. I hope that the years of toil, the years of disappointment, and the years na hindi maganda ang nangyari in the past, just forget them," the President said.

"You already have the gold. Gold is gold. It would be good for you to let bygones be bygones and dwell solely on your victory together with your family and, of course, the nation."

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Diaz, who claimed the Philippines's first Olympic gold in the women’s -55 kgs Monday night, returned to Manila on board Philippine Airlines flight PR 427 on Wednesday.

To reward her efforts, Duterte will be giving Diaz P3 million aside from the P10-million incentive she is set to receive from the government for her gold medal victory.

Duterte also accorded her the Presidential Medal of Merit, as well as a fully furnished house and lot in her hometown in Zamboanga.

"Your achievement is the achievement of the Philippine nation. We are extremely proud," said the President.

"But over and above the rewards, it's always the honor that counts. Ako naman ang magsaludo sa 'yo, Yes, ma'am!" said Duterte who stood up and gave Diaz a salute.

Others present in the online call, including Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Sen. Bong Go, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, also congratulated Diaz.

"Thank you so much, President. Thank you po," was Diaz's response.

Aside from Duterte's P3-million reward, Diaz stands to receive at least P35 million in incentives from the government, politicians and businessmen.

She was also rewarded a house and lot in Tagaytay City and a condominium unit in Eastwood. 

Diaz also got a lifetime worth of free flights and travel, as well as fuel from various companies.