WATCH: Duterte apologizes for missing Robredo in speech greeting

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2017 12:37 PM

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President Rodrigo Duterte apologized Sunday for failing to acknowledge Vice President Leni Robredo at the start of his speech during the Philippine Military Academy (PMA)'s commencement exercises.

Duterte interrupted himself in the middle of his speech, saying, "I apologize, Ma'am, it was not done. Commander, could you give the tikas-pahinga?"

The President, whose ties with Robredo have been strained since she resigned as his Housing secretary in December, then blamed the blunder on his speech writer.

"Ang nagsulat Ma'am dito, hindi ka isinali. Bugbugin na lang natin," he said.

He repeated his apology, saying "I'd like to apologize and acknowledge the presence of the beautiful lady, the Vice President of the Republic. Sorry Ma'am ha."

Before the graduation rites, Duterte had greeted Robredo and shook her hand.

The country's two highest officials, however, were seated a seat away from each other, with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana sandwiched between them.

Robredo had clashed with Duterte over his policies, including his war on drugs, and his push to reinstate the death penalty.

Watch a live streaming of the graduation of the PMA "Salaknib" Class here.