Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte could not hide his grandparental pride when he heard the news about the birth of his newest grandchild late Thursday. And expectedly he followed the family tradition by naming the child Stonefish.
“I have to fly home because my daughter gave birth,” Duterte, 71, broke the news to guests attending the induction of newly-elected officers of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the central Philippine city of Cebu on Thursday night.
Duterte was referring to his daughter, Sara, now the mayor of the southern Philippine city of Davao, Duterte’s home city.
Duterte’s daughter gave birth to a healthy baby boy through caesarian section on Thursday.
The mayor’s spokesman Jefry Tupas told reporters the baby weighed 2.42 kilograms.
President Rodrigo Duterte and his third grandchild named Stonefish
The new baby, who was named Marko Digong Carpio, is the third child of Sara.
“I am very excited to go home. I’d be flying home directly and will go straight to the hospital because I heard that he was named Marko Digong,” Duterte said. Digong has been Duterte’s nickname since he became a politician three decades ago.
Duterte also announced that his newest grandson will be given the nickname Stonefish, eliciting laughter from the audience.
“Poor child,” he said, eliciting more laughter from the audience. “I am so happy. Thank God!”
Sara has two other children: Mikhaila Maria or Sharky, 8, and Mateo Lucas or Stingray, 4.
Spokesman Tupas said Sara is known as the “Mother Ocean” and loves to name her children after fish.
Sara was pregnant with triplets but lost two to miscarriage in September last year. Duterte at the time said he was emotional when he heard the news.
“I cried… These are the things in life you just have to be yourself. I cried all day,” an emotional Duterte told a news conference in September, adding he went to the bathroom after he was told about what happened to Sara’s babies.
Duterte’s spokesman Ernesto Abella told presidential reporters that the arrival of Stonefish fortifies Duterte’s resolve “to leave a legacy of a Philippines safe and secure from drugs and heinous crimes to future generation of Filipinos.”
Sara is Duterte’s only daughter to his first marriage. She has two other brothers. Duterte has another daughter with his current partner.
Duterte assumed the presidency in June last year. He will be turning 72 on March 28.