DOHA, Qatar - The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani footed not only the hotel bill of President Rodrigo Duterte and his official delegation, but also that of his support staff and the Philippine media in Doha, Qatar.
At least 39 members of the Presidential support staff and the media were booked at the five-star Hilton Hotel in the City Center of Doha where they each had a room that costs at least $260 per night.
The hotel is just beside another five-star hotel, the Four Seasons, where President Duterte and his delegation are staying.
ABS-CBN insisted on paying but a staff of Malacañang Media Accreditation and Relations Office (MARO) said they were told that it was often protocol that when a head of state is on a state visit, the Emir takes care of all accommodations.
The same staff said they too were surprised to learn that everything had been taken care of prior to the arrival of journalists in Doha.
Qatar is the last stop of President Duterte's state visits to three Middle East countries. He has been to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain during the Holy Week.