The Philippine campaign shifted to Manila as Hidilyn Diaz led an entourage of Team Pilipinas members who arrived in Manila on board a Philippine Airlines flight on Wednesday.
Diaz, along with fellow weightlifter Elreen Ando and skateboarder Margielyn Didal who was on a wheelchair due to an ankle injury she sustained during the street finals, was accorded a hero’s welcome at NAIA’s Terminal 2 at around 5:53 p.m.
The Olympic gold medalist was supposed to grace a brief press conference but was whisked away by Air Force personnel who brought the group to Hotel Sofitel for their mandatory seven-day hotel quarantine.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque bared that Diaz will have a virtual call with President Rodrigo Duterte, which will air tonight.
“I confirm that Ms. Hidilyn Diaz, the first Filipino Olympic gold medalist, will be given a virtual/online hero’s welcome,” he said.
“She will also have a courtesy call with President Rodrigo Duterte, which will be aired live tonight.”
Prior to leaving for Sofitel, Diaz was brought to the VIP Lounge of NAIA to meet PSC Commissioner Charles Maxey and Commissioner Celia Kiram.
There, Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Eduardo Ano officially promoted her to staff sergeant of the Philippine Air Force.
Early this week, PAL gave Diaz 80,000 free miles per year for life.