Duterte absent in Lapu-Lapu City Independence Day rites
CEBU CITY — President Duterte skipped the national celebration of the 121st Independence Day in Lapu-Lapu City, on Mactan Island, Cebu on Wednesday.
No explanation was given although officials announced on Tuesday that the President would not be able to make it to the rites at the Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Barangay Mactan.
The President was supposed to speak in the program but the program was revised to a simple flag raising activity due to the cancellation.
Mr. Duterte was represented by Education Secretary Leonor Briones who was joined by local officials from the Lapu-Lapu City government as well as local officials from the Philippine Air Force, Philippine National Police, Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Public school teachers in Lapu-Lapu City were also in complete attendance at the event, which included a wreath laying ceremony at the foot of the statue of Datu Lapu-Lapu, the chieftain of Mactan who killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and the Spanish invaders in 1521.
After the flower offering, Lapu-Lapu was given a 21-gun salute by the Philippine Air Force, whose Central Visayas base is on Mactan Island.
In her speech, Briones honored the local heroes who fought the invaders.
“Remember what Lapu-Lapu and our heroes underwent to grant us freedom. What we enjoy now were made possible because of them. Let us not forget what they went through. Let us not forget especially our Visayas heroes,” she said.
The ceremonies lasted for around an hour and was capped by local songs. (Editor: Leti Boniol)
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