At PMA graduation, Lorenzana sits between Duterte, Robredo
In a break with protocol, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana sat between President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduation ceremony on Sunday, March 12.
The President is always seated at the center, supposedly with the Vice President on his right and the PMA Superintendent on his left. Instead Lorenzana was seated on his left and Robredo was seated between him and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.
A PMA officer told Rappler it was the protocol office of Malacañang that made the arrangements.
Duterte's speechwriter also did not write Robredo's name among the VIP guests that he was supposed to recognize.
In the middle of reading his prepared speech, Duterte paused to apologize for the neglect and recognized Robredo. The audience at the PMA cheered.
The President and Vice President are regularly invited to the PMA graduation ceremony to give the presidential saber and the vice-presidential saber to the top two graduating cadets.
It is the first time that the country's two highest officials were in a public event together since Robredo resigned from the Duterte Cabinet.
Some of Duterte's civilian allies had accused Robredo of joining plots to destabilize the government. This is despite repeated assurances from security officials who have said that they have not monitored any destabilization plot. – Rappler.com
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