MANILA -- Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a birthday greeting on Wednesday, used the word “blessed” to describe the Philippines as a nation for having President Rodrigo R. Duterte as its “father”.

“On this day, we are reminded of how blessed we are as a nation to be headed by someone who is known for his strong political will, decisive leadership and compassion for his fellowmen. I join the people in wishing our President a happy birthday!” Roque said in a birthday greeting.

He said that as his spokesperson, it is his “privilege” to work with Duterte, noting that he has seen firsthand the Chief Executive's dedication and hard work in creating more opportunities for Filipinos.

“As his official spokesperson, it is my distinct privilege to work with the Chief Executive and (I) have seen firsthand his hard work and dedication in fulfilling his goal of building a nation where opportunities abound and where citizens are empowered to realize their aspirations,” Roque said.

Roque, whose appointment as spokesperson was announced by Duterte in October last year, also pointed out that the President has “inspired” many government officials, including himself, to do “better” in serving the public.

“His sense of duty and fidelity to the country motivate us to work even harder to spread his message of genuine and meaningful change to our people,” he added.

Roque, meanwhile, wished Duterte “more healthy years ahead so he may continue to guide our people to unity and prosperity”.

The President, he added, will be spending his 73rd birthday "quietly" with his family in his hometown, Davao City. (PNA)