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President Duterte will push through with his attendance to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru this month, according to a Palace official.
“For now, tuloy po ang Peru,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in an interview with State-owned DZRB.
“It’s all about meeting the different leaders of the world and also being present in the activities that were arranged by the APEC and Peru,” Andanar added.
Andanar, however, acknowledged that the President’s travel plans might still change. “It can change tomorrow. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Maybe there could be other activities that could just spring up and activities that are more important than activities in Peru.”
The President had revealed his reluctance to joining other Asia-Pacific leaders in the annual summit in Lima due to his aversion to long-haul flights.
If his presence to the summit would not be needed, Duterte said he prefers to skip the foreign trip. “It’s a long way across the globe. It’s a long haul and it will kill you,” the 71-year-old President said.
Under the proposed flight plan, the presidential plane will make a stopover to New Zealand before reaching Peru for the APEC leaders’ summit on November 19 and 20.
Andanar said the President’s brief stopover in New Zealand would be a “time to rest” en route to Peru. “It is really just a stopover to take a rest because you know, it’s difficult to travel more than 24 hours going to Peru,” he said.
“You can just imagine the toll it will effect on the President’s body and the rest of the contingent. We have to consider the jetlag and the time zones that you have to adjust to,” he added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)