Duterte a no-show at fiesta in Arroyo's hometown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2016 03:38 PM | Updated as of Aug 28 2016 07:14 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. File/Composite

MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday failed to show up at a parish fiesta in the hometown of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

According to Marciano Paynor, chief of Presidential Protocol Office, bad weather prevented Duterte's chopper from taking off twice and heading to Lubao town.

"The Philippine Air Force's 250th wing recommended that the President not proceed to the area. They made two probing flights, one at 1:30 p.m. and one at 2:15 p.m.," Paynor explained.

"Our information is that the ceiling, meaning the clouds, are very low only at 400 feet somewhere south of here and a little north of Manila, it's still raining a little hard along the way. The helicopters will not be able make it safely."

Paynor said the President has promised Arroyo that he will visit the district another time.

"He texted Congresswoman GMA, he would come back here another time when the weather is much clearer and better. We hope you understand that this is a function of weather and safety for the President," the official said.

The events that were scheduled for Duterte will proceed with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay as his representative, Paynor added.

"We will continue with the events that have been planned this afternoon. Sec. Yasay and former PGMA will talk with OFWs who are already here and other festivities for the fiesta will continue," he said.

Arroyo and Duterte are known to be good friends.

The former Chief Executive made Duterte her anti-crime adviser during her presidency.

With Duterte's absence from the fiesta, Arroyo joined a reunion with family and close friends in her provincial residence.

Among those spotted inside Arroyo's house were Yasay, Duterte's chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, Lubao town officials and businessmen, and members of her family and Cabinet.