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Rody skips US, India meetings


VIENTIANE, Laos – President Duterte was apparently under the weather yesterday, forcing him to skip two important meetings with Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit dialogue partners during the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits here.

Duterte first failed to attend the ASEAN-India Summit. Instead, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. was designated to lead the Philippine delegation to the meeting that was convened in 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The President also did not show up at the ASEAN-United States Summit. Again, it was Yasay who was tasked to represent Duterte as the head of the Philippine delegation.

The President was also unable to take part in the second joint photo session of ASEAN leaders and dialogue partners which was scheduled after the ASEAN-India meeting. Yasay stood as Duterte’s alternate in the photo session.

Sources said that Duterte was “not feeling well.”

The President was scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Russia and New Zealand before flying to Indonesia for a working visit.

Malacañang officials have confirmed that Duterte will attend the closing ceremony of the summit yesterday afternoon.

Duterte missed his attendance at the ASEAN-United Nations Summit Wednesday because it was in conflict with his scheduled courtesy call on Laos President Bounnhang Vorachith at the Presidential Palace. (Roy C. Mabasa)