Duterte steps up public appearances
President Duterte had stepped up his public appearances in the past two days when he met with families of the five soldiers killed in clashes with the Abu Sayyaf and visited the wake of the wife of a former Mayor in Cagayan de Oro City.
Mr. Duterte’s public appearances came days after he denied rumors he was gravely ill or had passed away in a video posted by his partner Honeylet Avancena on Facebook.
The rumors began when the President skipped an event in Leyte last week.
But his former aide and now senatorial candidate Christopher Go released photographs of President Duterte visiting his parents’ grave site in Davao City last Monday night to commemorate the seventh death anniversary of his mother.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Wednesday the President met last Monday with the families of the five killed in action (KIA) soldiers from the encounter against the Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul, Sulu last February 2 and one (1) KIA soldier from the bombing incident in Jolo, Sulu, last January 27. The meeting took place in Matina Enclaves in Davao City, Panelo said.
“The President condoled with the bereaved families and honored the fallen soldiers for their heroism by awarding them the Order of Lapu Lapu (rank of Kalasag,” he said.
Likewise, Panelo said President Duterte “comforted the grieving families and assured them of the government’s assistance in terms of housing, livelihood, employment and educational assistance, among others.”
Mr. Duterte was accompanied in the private meeting with the families by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., Philippine National Police Director Oscar Albayalde, Philippine Army Commanding General Lieutenant General Macairog S. Alberto, as well as Go.
Last Tuesday night, President Duterte went to Cagayan de Oro City to pay his last respects to the wife of former city mayor Reuben Canoy, Solano Canoy, who passed away last Feb.3.
The President stayed for more than an hour to talk to Canoy and family members, according to a Palace statement.
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