Robredo: Duterte had good reason for skipping Independence Day rites
TAYSAN, Batangas — Vice President Leni Robredo made light of her appearance as President Duterte’s last-minute stand-in during Monday’s Independence Day rites, saying she was sure the latter had a good reason for not showing up.
“I was told the President would not be able to make it when I was around five to 10 minutes away from Luneta. So I was told the President could not make it and they asked if I could take his place,” she told reporters during a visit with a rural community here.
“To me it was not a problem. I’m sure he had an important reason to be absent,” Robredo said of the President.
Although the attendance of the two officials had been officially confirmed at the June 12 celebration at Luneta in Manila, Mr. Duterte did not show up. No reason was immediately given though officials said he took a rest day.
Robredo ended up taking the commanding role, leading the flag raising and wreath laying ceremonies before performing a salute in front of the statue of Jose Rizal. By her side was Foreign Affairs Secretary
Alan Peter Cayetano.
Staff members from Robredo’s office told the Philippine Daily Inquirer they were taken by surprise when they were suddenly told to “take over from there” by Malacañang personnel, who, until the announcement of the President’s absence, had been calling the shots.
“Suddenly, the Vice President had the lead role,” one staff member said. SFM
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