Neeraj George


TACLOBAN CITY- Neeraj George is an Indian national but is proud to say that President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte is an idol of him.
The 49-year old George idolized the country’s controversial President so much that he made a portrait of Mr. Duterte using a computer application known as Microsoft paint.
The Indian national, who now considers Guiuan in Eastern Samar as his second home next to New Delhi, said that he painstakingly drew the portrait of the President as a proof how he admires the country’s 16th Chief Executive.
According to Neeraj, it took him “hours” to finish working on the portrait of the President.
“Duterte is an idol. He walks the talk. He is not a politician because politicians lie. He makes good of his promises when he was campaigning for President,” George said.
“He is real and he is doing a good job,” he added, referring to the President.
According to him, he campaigned for the former mayor of Davao City when he ran for the presidency during the May 9, 2016 elections.
What struck George to Mr. Duterte was his campaign to address the country’s problem on the proliferation of illegal drugs.
George said that he hates illegal drugs so much, particularly methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, that he asked his son, Shaolin, to stop his studies for fear that that he might fall victim to the drug menace.
“I am supportive of his campaign on the illegal drugs because that is for the future of our children and of this country,” he said.
Pres. Duterte is waging a controversial and brutal war against the proliferation of shabu in the country that earned him criticisms from various foreign governments and organizations like the United States and the United Nations.
Human rights group and the influential Catholic Church in the country have also voiced their opposition to the campaign as these resulted to so-called extrajudicial killings.
But for George, the President is doing the right thing on his campaign to stamp out shabu in the country.
“My advice to the people is to pray for his safety because the more he stays with us, the Philippines will be safer,” George said.
He said that if given the chance, he would like to personally give his computer-generated painting to the President himself.
“I just want to show my appreciation and love, as an Indian national, to the President of the Philippines, “George added referring the reason why he made a portrait of Mr. Duterte.
Incidentally, George made a similar portrait of Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates where he worked in a shopping mall.
George said that he idolized the late sheik because he led in transforming his country into what it is now as among the most economically developed in the world.
It was in Dubai, the capital of UAE, where he met his future wife, Monalisa Cabanban, who worked in the same shopping mall as a cashier.
Cabanban, who is from Pamplona, Cagayan Valley, has a son from a previous marriage, Francis, who is married to a native of Guiuan, Alma, reason why she and George now live there.
They have been in Guiuan for six years now where they put up six computer shops and a restaurant offering Indian foods.
Shaolin helps his father manage their businesses.
When Guiuan was devastated by supertyphoon ‘Yolanda’ in 2013, they opened their computer shops for free to allow the local residents to inform their loved ones of their conditions.
For now George said that, aside from admiring the President, he also fell in love with Guiuan and wants to stay there for good. (JOEY A. GABIETA)