President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday congratulated Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz in a video call, telling the First Filipina to win top honors in the Summer Games to "let bygones be bygones".
Duterte's former spokesman had released a "matrix" of supposed anti-government plotters several years back with Diaz's name on it, for which the Palace has refused to apologize. Diaz denied involvement in the alleged ouster plan and set a world weightlifting record with her gold medal win in Tokyo last Monday.
Diaz, wearing her Air Force uniform, saluted Duterte, her commander-in-chief. The President returned the gesture.
"The nation is ecstatic about your achievement. Your achievement is the achievement of the Philippine nation. We are extremely proud," the President told Diaz.
"We cannot express even in words how we should really be shouting hallelujah. Salamat sa pagtiis mo. I hope that the years of toil, the years of disappointment, and the years na hindi maganda ang nangyari in the past, just forget them," he said.
"You already have the gold. Gold is gold and it would be good for you to let bygones be bygones and dwell solely on your victory together with your family and, of course, with the nation," he said.
Duterte said he was adding an additional P3 million to the P10 million prize that Diaz would receive from the government for being the country's first ever Olympic gold medalist.
Diaz simply replied: ""Thank you so much, President. Thank you po."