March 24, 2017
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday he declined a Rolex watch, which was given to him by someone as an advance birthday gift.
Duterte is turning 72 on March 28.
"My birthday is coming up. Do not give me the gifts. Somebody gave me a Rolex watch, gold, in advance. I returned it," Duterte said.
But the president said the giver did not accept the watch when he returned it. "Well, I will sell it again at a discount," he said.
He said no one would believe him in his fight against corruption if people would see him wearing a Rolex.
"You think I can afford a Rolex? That's why I've been complaining also of my salary. That is really what happens if you have two wives," said Duterte, whose marriage with his first wife is annulled.
He has three children, and is living with his longtime partner, who has a daughter with her.
Duterte's salary a month is over a hundred thousand pesos.
The president earlier said somebody gave him a Mercedes-Benz care, which he also rejected.
But the luxury vehicle is parked inside the Presidential Security Group Compound in Malacanang and up for sale. The proceeds would go to the government coffers, Duterte said.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol earlier said he was given a Rolex watch as a gift by a businessman, but he returned it. Celerina Monte/DMS
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