By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Sen. Bong Go

Malacañang on Monday said President Rodrigo Duterte did not pretend to be poor and just showing how simple he is while celebrating his birthday.

“The controversy was whether or not supposedly the President pretended to be poor. I don’t think the President ever pretended to be poor,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told ANC in an interview.

“He has always been known as simple and that is why he did not have guests on his birthday,” he added.

On Sunday, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go posted in social media photos of Duterte sitting in front of a “rice cake” supposedly purporting that the nation’s highest leader only having a simple birthday feast.

Later that day, a social media post went viral because the table was filled with food with a whole “lechon” or roasted pig.

However, Roque said the food during Duterte’s birthday ““did not violate any sense of decency.”

“There may have been food served for special occasions but that did not violate any sense of decency. There was no extravagant show of wealth because the President was in a t-shirt and in shorts and celebrated only with his family,” he said.

“It is crab mentality really for anyone to suggest that the President was pretending. No, the President never pretends. He is known for his authenticity. He has simple celebrations and I think that’s what happened on his birthday,” Roque added.

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