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Duterte grants boy's request to say hello to him, teacher, classmates

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday indulged in a light moment when he granted a Filipino boy's request for the nation's leader to "say hello" to him, his classmates and his teacher in a school in California in the United States.

In a 48-second video clip posted by Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christopher "Bong" Go, Duterte said he had received 11-year-old Andre Esteban's handwritten letter of request.

"Good day. I would like to say hello to Mrs. Richiutti and his students in Fresno Adventist Academy in California, USA, especially to you, Andre Esteban. Andre, I received your letter request, and I am most happy to oblige," he said.

Duterte also expressed confidence that Esteban would do great in his "nationality report," a school project.

"I am sure that you will do [a] great report about our beloved country, the Philippines. Continue being a good son and study well and may God bless you and your family and all of us in this planet earth," the president said.

The boy's mother, Almyra Grace Custodio, thanked Duterte for his message posted on Facebook.

It was also Custodio who had posted her son's letter, dated October 25, where the boy said he is a proud Filipino and wished to meet Duterte in the future.

"I am doing a Nationality report about the Philippines on November 15, 2017. I am interested in talking about you in my class," the boy wrote.

He said he knew the president was "very busy," before requesting a "special favor": "Can you please send me a short video clip of you saying hello to my teacher, Mrs. Ricchiuti [Ri-kyu-ti], my classmates, and I?"

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol got wind of the letter and announced on his Facebook page he was requesting the Presidential Communications Operations Office to record a video clip of Duterte's message for the boy, his classmates, and his teacher.

—Nicole-Anne C. Lagrimas/LBG, GMA News