Duterte early on last day of Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit

November 15, 2018
Rodrigo R. Duterte
Rodrigo R. Duterte AFP photo

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte showed up early yesterday for the last day of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Singapore.

Duterte arrived at the Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre — the venue of high level meetings among ASEAN member states and between dialogue partners of the 10-nation bloc — ahead of the breakfast meeting between Southeast Asian leaders and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it was learned.

The ASEAN-India Informal Breakfast Summit was scheduled for 8:30 a.m.

However, Duterte was not around for the summit family photo as he was represented anew by Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

Malacañang earlier said the President was set to attend the events lined up for the third and final day of the ASEAN Summit.

These include ASEAN’s  meetings with India and the United States, ASEAN Plus Three Summit, East Asia Summit and the closing ceremony where Singapore will turn over to Thailand the rotating chairmanship of the organization.

Duterte was set to have a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

It was Duterte’s first appearance after skipping six out of 11 events on the second day of the ASEAN Summit on Wednesday, including the gala dinner Singapore hosted for him and his fellow heads of government.

The Palace said Duterte had little sleep the night before and had to take power naps in between summits.

Locsin represented Duterte in the events the chief executive missed.

Duterte showed up in the ASEAN leaders’ meetings with China, Japan and Russia.

He also had a bilateral meeting with Lee, this year’s ASEAN chairman, and witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Eurasian Economic Commission and ASEAN on economic cooperation.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that Duterte’s absence had “nothing to do with his physical health and well-being which have been the subject of speculation.”