President Rodrigo Duterte looks on during the retreat session of the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Sunday. David Gray, Reuters
President Rodrigo Duterte attends the retreat session of the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Sunday.David Gray, Reuters
Leaders pose for a family photo ahead of the retreat session during the APEC Summit in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Sunday. David Gray, Reuters
PAPUA NEW GUINEA -- (UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte attended the second day of the APEC Summit here as originally scheduled.
Malacañang earlier said the President was supposed to cut short his APEC trip and fly back to the Philippines on Saturday night, instead of the original Sunday afternoon schedule.
Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido Tejano confirmed that the President was still in Papua New Guinea and did not fly home on Saturday.
“Narito, hindi naman umuwi kagabi (He's here, he did not head home last night). He wants to attend the meeting. ” Tejano said.
“I am very happy that he will be here to attend the whole meeting,” he added.
Duterte arrived at the APEC Haus in Papua New Guinea before 9 a.m., sticking to the original schedule.
The President and other APEC leaders were scheduled to meet with the International Monetary Fund on the state of regional and global economy.
They will also hold a leaders’ retreat to discuss the importance of connecting digitally in achieving inclusive growth.
Duterte on Saturday night was not seen in the family photo of APEC leaders at the gala dinner.
He was also not seen on the live video feed of the event at the International Media Center, which showed Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez at the gala dinner instead.
The President may have needed to catch on rest because he had been meeting with world leaders since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Singapore last week, said Tejano.
“Siyempre kailangan din niya magpahinga. Tuloy-tuloy 'yung ano niya, galing pa sa Singapore. Ako man nagre-receive lang dito, halos lumugmok na ako. E siya meeting nang meeting. Ako rin mismo magsabi, 'Sir, onting pahinga,'” Tejano said.
(Of course he needs to rest. His engagements have been non-stop since Singapore. I'm just receiving delegates here, but I'm exhausted. He's been in meeting after meeting. I advised him, 'Sir, rest a bit.')
There was no immediate word from the Palace on the matter.
Last week, Duterte missed the ASEAN gala dinner, summits with Australia and South Korea, and a working lunch with the host, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
The President was exhausted and had to take “power naps” during these events, said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
The President last year also skipped the APEC gala dinner in Vietnam. The Palace cited the need to oversee preparations for the ASEAN summit then hosted by the Philippines.
Then-Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano attended the dinner on Duterte’s behalf.