Duterte to skip Balangiga Bells turnover ceremony
Duterte has decided to skip the ceremony, said Malacañang media relations staff on Monday, December 10.
"PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) won't attend the event tomorrow," said Presidential Communications Undersecretary Mia Reyes in a message.
Duterte was supposed to attend the event set for 1:30 pm at the Villamor Air Base on Tuesday, December 11. The ceremony was in his tentative schedule sent to reporters.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana previously said Duterte had told him he would attend, but would not give a speech.
Malacañang has not yet given an explanation for the President's change of plan.
But Lorenzana told Rappler that Duterte decided not to attend the Tuesday ceremony because he has plans to attend a similar ceremony in Balangiga town itself, where the bells came from.
"Originally, he wasn't going there so I encouraged him to appear in Villamor tomorrow," said the defense chief.
The Balangiga Bells are currently on a stopover in Japan, ahead of their return to the Philippines. – Rappler.com
We keep you informed because you matter
We tell you the stories that matter. We ask, we probe, we explain.
But as we strive to do all this and speak truth to power, we face constant threats to our independence.
Help us make a difference through free and fearless journalism. With your help, you enable us to keep providing you with our brand of compelling and investigative work.
Joining Rappler PLUS allows us to build communities of action with you. PLUS members will receive our editorial newsletters and industry reports, get to join exclusive online conversations with our award-winning journalists, and be part of our monthly events.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.