President Duterte skipped the Independence Day rites held in Rizal Park, Manila on Monday due to exhaustion, according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella announced that Duterte would not be able to attend the ceremony 10 minutes before it started and did not say why the Chief Executive was unable to come.
This is Google’s eighth Independence Day doodle for the Philippines, and it features Filipinos gathered around the Philippine flag for a flag raising ceremony while sunrise can be seen over the water, symbolizing the Filipinos’ optimism in the face of adversity.
Tillerson said the United States is “proud” of its longstanding relationship with the Philippines, especially at a time the country is facing the threat of terrorism and extremism.
“It’s just that he’s not feeling well. Puyat na puyat at pagod (He’s exhausted from staying up late), nothing to worry about”, Cayetano said during a chance interview after the ceremony. So puyat na puyat at pagod [he’s exhausted from staying up late].
It could be recalled that Duterte earlier called off the hosting of the traditional Vin d’Honneur for the diplomatic corps at Malacañang Palace to attend to matters concerning Mindanao, which has been placed under martial law. Duterte last Sunday visited wounded-in-action soldiers in Cagayan de Oro City, before giving his final salutes to killed-in-action government troops brought in Pasay City.
“I received the call 5:30 this morning and I talked to his people and inquired, they said, ‘No problem, he (Duterte) is okay.’ But, exhausted and does not feel that well so better to rest”, Cayetano said.
After the rites, Cayetano told reporters Duterte had to skip his first Independence Day as President as he lacked sleep after attending to several businesses prior to the event.
VP Leni, with SFA Cayetano leads the wreath laying.
June 12 was the 119th anniversary of the Filipino declaration of independence from Spain.
Duterte, in a message on the celebration of 119th Independence Day anniversary, hailed the people who fought for the country’s freedom “so that we may live with the dignity and rights befitting a free nation”.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea was also clueless about the reason why Duterte made a decision to not show up at the said event.
“The journey to freedom was a long and arduous one – which our countrymen paid for with blood, sweat and the ultimate act of selfless sacrifice”, the President said.