More than 600 Filipinos in Vietnam turn out for meeting with Duterte
HANOI, Vietnam – More than 600 Filipinos have trooped so far to the Intercontinental Hotel in the Vietnamese capital for a rare chance to see President Duterte, who is in town for a two-day official visit.
They came as far as Ho Chi Minh City in the south of Vietnam, while others were based in Hanoi.
Emmanuel Lopez, vice president of the Pinoys Sa Hanoi, initially said they expected around 500 Filipinos to attend the meeting with Duterte.
They were surprised on Wednesday afternoon to find out that more than 600 people and counting have turned out for the event.
“We didn’t expect that so many would want to see the President. Some are still calling us up to ask if they could still go here,” said Lopez.
A function room of the Intercontinental Hotel which was rented for the event only had a maximum capacity of 300 people.
Adults with their teenaged children and even toddlers in tow wore their best clothes, while others stuck to casual wear as they waited for the President to address them.
Some brought with them flaglets of the Philippine flags as a host instructed them on the program for Wednesday night.
The overwhelming turnout is proof of the Filipino community’s support for the popular leader, Lopez said.
“They are very eager for the very first time to take part in this,” he said.
He added that the Filipino community from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh will extend their support to Duterte and his programs.
“We wish that he will be able to solve the country’s problems. We are ready to help him, as long as it is right and for the benefit of all,” Lopez said.
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