Palace unsure yet on planned US visit by Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — Even after enduring near freezing temperatures during his five-day trip to Russia, has President Duterte changed his mind about visiting the United States?
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo doesn’t think so, since it’s so much colder in the United States.
“In Russia, it was a good thing that he survived [the cold climate there]. We experienced almost freezing [temperatures] there,” said the Palace official in a radio interview last Friday.
Pressed if President Duterte was still unsure about going to the United States on the invitation of US President Donald Trump, Panelo said: “You know, that would be difficult because it’s very cold there.”
He made the remarks days after the President returned to the country last week after his second official visit to Russia, particularly Moscow and Sochi.
During his stay there, the President was photographed wearing thick coats to keep himself warm while outdoors.
The temperature in Moscow during the first week of October reportedly ranged from 3°C to 8°C.
Upon his return to Davao City last week, the President told at a press conference that he came down with a “very bad case of colds” due to the chilly weather in Russia.
Earlier this year, Panelo said the Chief Executive was wary of cold weather and long flights, reasons why a visit to the United States was not yet on the table.
“The problem with the President is he cannot stand the temperature in the US, it’s too cold and too far. He doesn’t like long-haul flights,” Panelo said in March.
In July, Philippine ambassador to the United States Jose Romualdez said the President had “indicated he would like to go, but it’s just a question of timing.”
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