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