(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte honored all the Filipino athletes who brought pride to the country in the recent Tokyo Olympics where the Philippines brought home its biggest Olympic medal haul
Among those who were honored in Malacanang on Monday, Aug. 24, were weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz who brought the country’s first ever Olympic gold, boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam who brought home two Olympic silver medals, and another Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial who got an Olympic bronze.
“I am pleased to welcome you in this humble office of mine, the pride of the Philippines—our Philippine Olympians in the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympics and other Filipino athletes,” President Duterte said in his speech honoring the Filipino Olympians.
“Today, we celebrate our Olympic medalists, led by Air Force Staff Sergeant Hidilyn Diaz, gold medalist in Weightlifting, Women’s 55kg — our country’s very first gold medal in Olympics history. We also honor our silver medalists and bronze medalist in Boxing — Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial,” he said.
Duterte, during the program, also recognized the achievement of 1996 Atlanta Olympic silver medalist boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, and gave him a P500,000 cash reward.
He said that the Filipino athletes who won an Olympic medal for the country will be conferred the following awards:
-Presidential Medal of Merit for Hidilyn Diaz;
-Order of Lapu-Lapu with rank of Kamagi to Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial, and
All the Olympic athletes also received a Presidential citation.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu is given to persons in government or private sector who have rendered extraordinary service or have made exceptional contributions to the success of the President’s campaign or advocacy.
“I congratulate you once again for bringing pride and honor to the country and for uplifting the spirit of Filipinos amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” Duterte said.
“Your hard work, dedication and sportsmanship, even amidst the challenges in your training and competitions prior to the Olympics, are truly inspiring. I am confident that you will get better and stronger in securing more victories in the future.”
Diaz was awarded P15 million from the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., (PAGCOR), a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from the National Housing Authority (NHA) and P3 million from the Office of the President. She was also conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit.
Silver medalists in boxing Petecio and Paalam were also given incentives, with each of them getting P5 million from the PSC, a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from NHA and P2 million from the Office of the President.
Boxer Marcial, who won an Olympic bronze, got P2 million from the PSC, a certificate of turnover of a housing unit from NHA and P1 million from the President’s office.
Boxer “Onyok” Velasco, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics silver medalist, also received P500,000 from the Office of the President.
The other athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics will receive P200,000 and Presidential citations.
Malacanang said that the “the government remains committed to providing full support to Filipino athletes.”
Duterte also urged the POC, PSC and other sports bodies to continue providing greater assistance to the country’s athletes so they would be better equipped in training and capability when they compete in international sports.
“The strength and excellence of our athletes in the international sports arena demonstrate the Filipino spirit of resilience and determination to succeed,” he said.
“Our Tokyo 2020 medalists and Olympians truly embody our greatness as a people and as a nation,” he added.
(Eagle News Service)