President Rodrigo Duterte will skip the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump this week and will send representatives instead to the historic event, Malacañang said Sunday.
Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said he and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. will attend Trump's inauguration in Washington, DC on January 20.
Andanar mentioned that is is not customary for heads of state to attend the inauguration of a US president because it is a domestic event.
“Customarily, the head of mission or the ambassador is the representative of our country. Because this is totally a domestic event, Americans will be there to celebrate the inauguration,” he explained.
Christopher Go, Duterte's special advisor, earlier said Trump invited the Filipino President to visit him in the White House during a telephone call last December.
Duterte, meanwhile, reportedly invited Trump to the 2017 ASEAN Summit in the Philippines.