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Duterte, family spend weekend in Hong Kong

PRESIDENT Duterte with common-law wife Honeylet and daughter Veronica. (Presidential photo)

PRESIDENT Duterte with common-law wife Honeylet and daughter Veronica. (Presidential photo)

For the second time in four months, President Duterte was in Hong Kong to spend the weekend with his family, the Chief Executive’s former top aide confirmed yesterday.

Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go confirmed that Duterte went to Hong Kong for a “weekend getaway” with common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña and their teenage daughter Veronica, also known as “Kitty.”

Go said the President left for Hong Kong Friday evening and will return to the country some time yesterday.

“Totoo po na pumunta ng Hong Kong si Pangulong Duterte na kasama ang long-time partner niya na si Ma’am Honeylet Avanceña at anak nila na si Kitty para sa isang personal na biyahe,” he said in a text message.

In a text message, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo also confirmed that they are in Hong Kong for the weekend for Avanceña’s birth anniversary Saturday.

A report by the South China Morning Post said Duterte was seen roaming inside fashion wear chain Uniqlo at the World Trade Center in Causeway Bay around 6 p.m. with his bodyguards dressed in a dark suit.

A photo taken by Southern District Council member Henry Chai Man-hon posted on the SCMP website showed a female shopper surprised to see Duterte walking around the store. A few Filipinos were around at the time and some recognized the President but no one greeted him.

Duterte, however, talked to shop staff about the products.

Go said the President’s youngest child Kitty requested for the trip which they have done before when Duterte was still mayor of Davao City. “It was actually Kitty who requested her father for the trip, as a gift. Nagawa na ito nila noon kahit nung mayor pa ng Davao City si PRRD. The weekend getaway is for rest and recreation,” he said.

He also added that like always, Duterte appointed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as officer-in-charge to oversee the daily operations of the Office of the President.

Duterte also spent a weekend in Hong Kong in October last year “to rest.” He was joined by Avanceña, Kitty, and Go.

The trip came after he admitted that he had an endoscopy in which his doctors were said to have discovered something in his digestive tract. (Argyll Geducos)