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For 2nd consecutive year, Duterte skips Apec gala dinner

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks on the second day of the APEC CEO Summit taking place ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Dinh Hoang)

DA NANG, Vietnam – For the second consecutive year, President Rodrigo Duterte skipped the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ gala dinner.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, attended the dinner Friday night at the Sheraton hotel here.

At the Apec summit last year, the President also skipped the gala dinner and the final “family photo” of the Apec leaders.

Cayetano said the President was “doing something important” tonight and had an early schedule tomorrow (Saturday).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Mr. Duterte skipped the event because he was “attending to urgent Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) hosting matters.”

“He is (also) supervising and coordinating (the) safe recovery of Vietnamese captives of the Abu Sayyaf Group,” he added.

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