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President cancels Brunei trip

President Duterte has cancelled his planned working visit to Brunei after the deadly explosion in his hometown of Davao City that left more than a dozen people dead.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the President decided to skip his Brunei trip to oversee government efforts in dealing with the attack.

The President was supposed to embark on his first international journey with a planned visit to Brunei on September 4 and 5.

The President would push through with his attendance to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Laos on September 6 to 8, according to Andanar.

The Philippine leader is expected to meet US President Barack Obama and eight other world leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

Also, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said the President’s trip to Indonesia will also proceed as scheduled.

The President is expected to visit the Asian neighbor on September 8 and 9.

Palace officials made the announcement about the President’s travel itinerary a few hours after the President placed the country under a state of lawlessness and directed the military to quell the threat of terrorism.

Early in the day, Andanar revealed that the President may not push through with his foreign trip to be with the nation following the blast. “Nabanggit po ng Pangulo na, sa kasalukuyang sitwasyon, ay nais niyang hindi na tumuloy sa kanyang biyahe,” Andanar said.

“Hindi lang natin alam kung ang (kanseladong biyahe) ay sa Brunei lamang o kasama pati ang mga bansang Laos at Indonesia,” he added.

He said it is up to the President if he would stay in Davao or return to Manila for his safety. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)