Duterte to skip 2nd day of Apec summit
President Duterte will leave Papua New Guinea a day earlier than scheduled, skipping some of the most important events at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders’ Meeting, Malacañang said on Friday.
Based on an updated schedule of his engagements in Port Moresby, Mr. Duterte will leave Papua New Guinea at 11:15 p.m. on Saturday.
He is expected to arrive in Davao City on Nov. 18 at 3:15 a.m., Malacañang said, without explaining why the President needed to leave halfway through the Apec meeting.
Mr. Duterte will thus miss Sunday’s events, including the leaders’ family photo-op at 9 a.m., the International Monetary Fund informal dialogue with leaders at 9:15 a.m., leaders’ retreat at 10 a.m. and leaders’ working lunch at 1:45 p.m.
In the original schedule, the President was supposed to leave Port Moresby at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday and arrive four hours later at Davao International Airport, where he was scheduled to give an arrival statement.
No arrival statement
But Malacañang said on Friday evening that Mr. Duterte would no longer address media on his arrival.
“Please be informed that PRRD will leave PNG on Nov. 17 at 11:15 p.m., and arrive in Davao City on Nov. 18 at 3:15 a.m.,” the advisory read.
“No more arrival statement, thank you,” it said.
Mr. Duterte arrived at Jacksons International Airport near Port Moresby at 6:05 a.m. on Friday straight from Singapore, which hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
In Singapore, the President also skipped several major meetings supposedly to take “power naps” as he was too exhausted.
His absences fueled criticisms and fanned new speculations about his health.
Mr. Duterte was welcomed at the airport on Friday by top Papua New Guinea officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Treasury Charles Abel, Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, Chief of the Diplomatic Protocol Morea Veratau, Apec Minister Justin Tkatchenko, and Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to the Philippines Nawi Bokuik.—DJ YAP
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