By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2017 Journal GlobaLinks)
CHICAGO (JGL) – Filipino American lawyer Loida Nicolas Lewis greeted Monday (March 27) Philippine President Rody Duterte (PPRD) a happy birthday in reply to a text message from a Duterte supporter, who
is also her personal friend, Marlon L. Pecson, suggesting to greet Mr. Duterte on his 72nd birthday Tuesday (March 28).
The greetings come after she hosted a private dinner for guests from Chicago, Illinois and Manila, Philippines last Thursday (March 23) in her condo in Manhattan, New York City, New York.
PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE, who is celebrating his 72nd birthday Tuesday (March 28), raises his fist while delivering his speech during the groundbreaking ceremony of a drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon on March 25, 2017. (KIWI BULACLAC/Presidential Photo)
Among those she invited aside from Mr. Pecson, a Chicago-based community organizer and cross-voter for Mr. Duterte and Leni Robredo during the last Philippine presidential elections, was Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Dean at the Development Academy of the Philippines Gloria Jumamil-Mercado, who was in New York to attend the weeklong UN Women’s Leadership Conference Week that started on March 20. It was Mr. Pecson, who invited Ms. Juamil-Mercado to the dinner.
Deputy Secretary Jumamil-Mercado told Mr. Pecson that she was going to relay the birthday greetings of Ms. Lewis to President Duterte when they hold a cabinet meeting Tuesday.
FILIPINO AMERICAN Lawyer Loida Nicolas Lewis (third from right) hosts a dinner in her condo in Manhattan, New York city, New York on Thursday (March 23) to her guests that include Deputy Cabinet Secretary Gloria Jumamil-Mercado (to her right, counter clock wise) Dr. Rowena Navera, Ms. Flor Bejir, Marlon L. Pecson, Mr. Pecson’s niece, Marie Angeline Aquino of UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) in New York, Philippines' United Nations Defense Attaché on Foreign Affairs Ruben Fajardo and Hazel De Mesa of Ayala Property Sales. (JGL Photo)
The Filipino American lawyer from Sorsogon province in the Philippines commented that the President must be pleased over the influx of Chinese investments in the Philippines, which are generating thousands of jobs for Filipinos.
During the dinner they also discussed the West Philippine (South China) Sea, Benham Rise, Corruption, Sen. Leila de Lima, Vice President Leni Robredo, New York Times coverage of the Philippines, the extra-judicial killings, human rights violations and the coming new Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, former Congressman Teddy “Boy” Locsin," etc.
FILIPINO AMERICAN Lawyer Loida Nicolas Lewis (third from left) is showing her guests some information in this photo during a dinner she hosted in her condo in Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York on Thursday (March 23). Looking on from left are Marie Angeline Aquino of the UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) in New York, Dr. Rowena Navera, Marlon L. Pecson, Deputy Cabinet Secretary Gloria Jumamil-Mercado and Hazel De Mesa of Ayala Property Sales. (JGL Photo)
“I really want our conversation during the dinner to be private. The dinner was to honor my long-time friend and fellow Bicolano, Marlon Pecson from Daraga, Albay and not for me to be headlined in the press,” she clarified in an email to this reporter and Mr. Pecson Monday.
Also invited was Philippines' United Nations Defense Attaché on Foreign Affairs Ruben Fajardo, whose superior is incoming new Philippine UN Ambassador Teddy "Boy" Locsin.
Others in the private dinner were Dr. Rowena Navera, Ms. Flor Bejir and Mr. Pecson’s niece, Marie Angeline Aquino of the UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) in New York.