Sniffles forces Aquino to skip Asean dinner


President Benigno S. Aquino III. Photo by Lauro Motellano/Malacañang Photo Bureau

PHNOM PENH—Suffering from the sniffles, President Benigno Aquino admitted he was not in his best condition as he attended meeting after meeting at the 21st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and related meetings here.

On Monday evening, the flu-stricken President left a gala dinner for Asean and other world leaders early, telling his hosts he needed to rest.

But before retiring for the night, he stopped to brief Philippine media people at the Sofitel hotel here, where he was billeted.

“I can’t say I’m at my 100 percent now. As you may have noticed, my voice is scratchy and I have a cold … But otherwise I think I manage,” he said.

Mr. Aquino said his troubles began during his trips to New Zealand and Australia, where he was exposed to pollen. “My visit there was during spring and it was colder compared to the Philippines,” he said.

He said Health Secretary Enrique Ona had been telling him to rest or take a vacation “and I only said we will get there.”


Opportunity to be heard

Mr. Aquino said he had been trying to push himself. “Like now, it’s the nation’s interest at stake, which is why I should get through this,” he said.

He said he was trying not to miss any opportunity to be heard on issues facing Asean, especially on matters of importance to the Philippines, mainly the territorial dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Since the summit’s opening, Mr. Aquino has spoken in all the sessions, including during side meetings with Japan, Korea, India, China and the United States, except on one occasion when time ran out.

Mr. Aquino said he had no particular expectations going to the summit, except to make the most of his chances to speak up and convey the Philippine position on regional issues.

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  • arao_liwanag

    O baka mabulilyaso na naman sa protocol, kung papaano pumustura ng upo. Dapat magsanay muna – lalo na sa table manner para hindi nagkakamali. o kaya sa kamayan na lang magdinner. ng mga kuhol.

    • Fz20

      o yah, for 3-course dinner, huwag gamitin yung malaking kutsara sa kanin, para sa soup lang yan, at yung isa pang mas-malaking kutsara, serving spoon yan, isa pa fork ang ginagamit hindi spoon…hindi kayo pwedeng sumama sa fiesta, nakakahiya 

  • AFPako

    CALLING ON Raultoy to give hilot to tired and weary PNoy.  Maomaogook will give you direct flight to Phnom Penh ,.

  • a1phantom

    sniffles lang…sobrang OA naman

    • jurbinsky77

      Kung may alam ka sa protocol, saka ka mamintas. Eh ano kung hindi mag-dinner, ang mahalaga ay naroon siya sa mga head of states sessions.

  • agustin

    Tama ang ginawa ni Pnoy para hindi siya mapahiya sakaling umubo siya sa harap ng matatalinong tao sa Asia. mahirap na magkalat siya ng Virus sa mga ito at baka mapagbintangan tayong source of spreading bacteria and virus. you need a vacation mr. president and turn over the presidency to Mr. Binay. for the good of the Philippines and good luck to you.

  • EdgarEdgar

    But that’s exactly the problem. Pres. Aquino knew he was sick even before he left for Cambodia. His condition was further aggravated when he arrived in Cambodia. In fact Pres. Aquino was too weak to walk unaided coming out of the plane. His sniffles drove away the other ASEAN participants who feared contagion, which made the negotiations even more difficult. Worse, Pres. Aquino proceeded to attend decision-making meetings knowing that his illness will impair his judgement. This is a president who was willing to put the interest of the nation on the line, imperil our standing in ASEAN and harm our national interest just so he can appear in photo-ops and use them for propaganda. Now his propaganda has backfired on him. His ASEAN peers keep their distance from him. And our country is none the better for it.

    • jurbinsky77

      Alimaum lang iyan EdgarEdgar. Disabuse yourself in your wild imaginings.

  • dodi gonzalez

    Wait a minute– he skipped the ASEAN dinner?  Didn’t he also skip this dinner with the Canadian Prime Minister and the President of the IMF? What gives? I think the public should be apprised on the medical condition of the President.  

    • justice_league03

       i guess this proves that he is indeed a 9 – to -5 guy. work is done after that so he just skips it.

  • justice_league03

    what is it with Aquino and skipping dinners?? do symptoms show around dinner time???

  • joboni96

    ‘President left a gala dinner for Asean and other world leaders early’

    mukhang hindi marunong mag headline
    itong dj yap writer na ito

    patibong siguro ng intsik switik ito

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