• The President congratulated weightlifter on winning a silver medal in the Olympics
  • He said he is looking forward to meeting her when she comes home
  • He also said he is happy he was able to encourage her with his pep talk

MANILA, Philippines – A very happy President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated Hidilyn Diaz for winning a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics and said he is looking forward to meeting her when she comes home.

“As the President of this country, I’m overjoyed. I’d like to congratulate Miss Diaz for her success,” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying. “Bilib na ako sa iyo [I believe in you]. I’d like to wait for you and see you in the Palace. Saludo po ako sa inyo [I salute you].”

Duterte added he is happy that he was able to encourage her with his pep talk he gave to the country’s Olympics contingent before they left for Brazil.

“I’m happy that she was encouraged by my words,” he said.

Aside from Duterte, the Senate also praised Diaz for her victory.

“Diaz’s silver-medal victory is momentous, being a veritable first in various respects in Philippine sports history. Hers is the first Philippine Olympic medal since Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won silver in the light flyweight boxing competition during the 1996 Summer Olympics in the United States,” Sen. Sonny Angara’s resolution praising the weightlifter read.

“Diaz is the first Filipina to win an Olympic medal and the first non-boxer to win a medal since 1936. Hailing from, Zamboanga City, Diaz is also the first Filipino Olympic medalist from Mindanao,” the resolution added.

Aside from the praises, Diaz will also receive P5 million tax-free as per the new National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Law which was passed in 2012, as well as a slew of other benefits.