LOOK: Duterte hosts Islamic thanksgiving for Robin Padilla’s daughter

Pia Ranada
LOOK: Duterte hosts Islamic thanksgiving for Robin Padilla’s daughter


Three cows are slaughtered in Marawi City and distributed to evacuation centers to give thanks to Allah for Maria Isabella Padilla, according to an imam present at the Malacañang event

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte hosted the aqiqah or welcoming celebration for Maria Isabella Padilla, daughter of actor Robin Padilla and television host Mariel Rodriguez on Thursday night, November 23, on Malacañang grounds.

The party, which was attended by the couple’s family and friends and some government officials, was held at the Malacañang Golf Clubhouse (Malago), within the Presidential Security Ground compound of Malacañang.

Photos posted by imam Bedejim Abdullah on Facebook showed Duterte interacting with Robin and Mariel. The Chief Executive gave a speech during the program.

Photo from Bedejim Abdullah Facebook account

Aqiqah is the Islamic welcoming celebration for a new baby, featuring traditional rituals meant to give thanks to Allah.

According to Abdullah, 3 full-grown cows were slaughtered in Marawi City and distributed to evacuation centers as part of the ceremony for Maria Isabella.

Robin wore a light pink collared shirt under suspenders while Mariel wore a light pink dress with lace sleeves. Maria Isabella outshown everyone with her red dress with embroidered skirt.

CELEBRATION IN MALACANANG. Mariel Rodriguez Padilla holds Maria Isabella as President Duterte meets her at the entrance of Malago. Malacañang photo

Guests included Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and businessman and Presidential Adviser on Sports Dennis Uy, a good friend of Duterte’s.

Photo from Bedejim Abdullah Facebook account

Photo from Bedejim Abdullah Facebook account

Padilla was one of Duterte’s most vocal celebrity supporters during his 2016 presidential campaign. 

Almost exactly a year ago, Duterte did Padilla a favor by granting him executive clemency, allowing him to visit Mariel and newly-born Maria Isabella in the United States.

Padilla was convicted of illegal possession of firearms in 1994. In 1998, then President Fidel Ramos granted him pardon but it did not restor his full civil and political rights.

Duterte has taken to hosting parties for his friends in Malago. On Wednesday, November 22,  he hosted the birthday party of Marinduque Representative Allan Lord Velasco. During the event, Velaso took his oath as a member of Duterte’s political party, PDP-Laban.

Velasco enjoys a close relationship with Duterte. Last Christmas, Duterte and partner Honeylet Avanceña hosted the Velascos  in their Davao City home. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.