Rodrigo Duterte

Fried chicken and star-struck staff: Duterte dines with domestic helper at Jollibee in Hong Kong

Controversial president makes a quick stop at local fast-food outlet, thanking domestic helpers for contributions to their country

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2018, 11:14pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 April, 2018, 1:22pm

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is in Hong Kong for an unofficial visit, found time for some fast-food fare that provided a taste of home, even if it was only for some 30 minutes on Thursday.

The controversial leader stopped for fried chicken at the Hung Hom outlet of popular Filipino chain Jollibee. 

Flanked by aides and officers, the Duterte family arrived shortly before 6pm, making a detour on their way to meet the Filipino community at an event in Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.

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Joining the entourage were Duterte’s long-time partner Honeylet Avanceña and daughters Sara Duterte-Carpio – mayor of Davao City – and Veronica “Kitty” Duterte, as well as grandson Stingray.

The president reportedly took a glimpse at the menu and ordered some soft drinks and several meal boxes. Taking a corner seat, the family invited a Filipino domestic helper dining there to join their table. 

Duterte was seen chatting with the woman and praising the domestic helper community in Hong Kong for their contributions to the Philippine economy.

During the chat, the president also promised assistance to the helper so she could go for a holiday with her family back home, according to a video of the interaction shared online by Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

A staff member at the fast-food outlet, who only gave her name as Fanny, told the Post: “People were very surprised, speechless, when they saw the president. We workers were also excited.

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“It was my first time seeing him in person. He is a great president. He talks to ordinary nationals even when he is overseas,” Fanny said.

Her colleague, Amorita, said: “I feel very honoured that the president would visit my workplace overseas. I wish he could have stayed a little longer so I could chat with him.”

The outlet’s manager, a local Hong Kong resident, declined to comment, citing company policy.