Duterte flies to Lima, Peru this week
Barring unforeseen impediments, President Duterte would be flying to Lima, Peru, this week for his second interaction with world leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
“For now, it (the President’s trip to Lima) is confirmed,” Andanar said in an interview with state-run dzRB radio on Sunday.
“[But] it can change tomorrow. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Maybe there could be other activities that could just spring up and activities that are more important than the activities in Peru,” he said.
Mr. Duterte’s travel to the South American nation would be his ninth foreign trip since he was sworn in as President on June 30.
He has so far visited Laos, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia.
It would also be his first foreign trip outside Asia and his second attendance to an international conference of world leaders after going to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Vientiane, Laos, in September.
Before proceeding to the Apec conference, Andanar said the President and his official delegation would stop by New Zealand for about two hours to take a rest.
“It’s difficult to travel more than 24 hours going to Peru,” he said. “It’s just literally a two-hour stopover. And you can just imagine the toll it will [have] on the President’s body and the rest of the contingent.”
Added Andanar: “Also, we have to consider the jet lag and the time zones that you have to adjust to.”
At 72, Mr. Duterte was up to the physical challenges as the leader of over 100 million Filipinos, Andanar said as he downplayed rumors that the President was not happy about his busy schedule.
On Friday, the President did not show up in his scheduled interview with actress-television host Kris Aquino in Davao City after he was said to have experienced migraine.
“No, he’s not complaining. There was never a statement from the President that he’s complaining. It’s just that… These things, when the trips and the long hours, when they take their toll, it’s beyond a person’s control,” Andanar said.
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