President Rodrigo Duterte, accompanied by his common-law wife Honeylet Avanceu00f1a, accepts a portrait of his late mother Soledad Duterte from businessman Ramon Ang Photo by Richard Madelo/ Presidential Photo
Was a migraine really the reason why President Rodrigo Duterte could not make it to the Go Negosyo event and one-on-one interview with Kris Aquino?
After officials said Duterte skipped the Go Negosyo Summit at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City late Friday afternoon because he suffered from a "migraine," he was seen hours later at the launch of Pilipinong May Puso Foundation, Incorporated at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in the same city.
It was at the foundation launch – an activity not included in his official schedule sent to media – where he explained that he had just come from the mountains.
"I am very, very late because I had to go to a place where we had a hard time negotiating pababa (going down), it was raining very hard in the mountains and we could not make it on time," he said at the start of his speech.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez did not mention the President's mountain trip when he explained Duterte's absence at the Go Negosyo summit, which he was supposed to address. Lopez's explanation was that Duterte had a migraine and was not feeling well, perhaps because of his recent trips to Thailand and Malaysia.
Duterte arrived from Malaysia in the wee hours of Friday morning, and even granted a media interview after he delivered his arrival speech.
Duterte seemed to have recovered enough to attend the launch of Pilipinong May Puso Foundation, an organization created to honor the memory of his mother, Soledad "Nanay Soleng" Duterte, one of the foremost activists and philanthropists in Davao City in her day.
In his speech, Duterte recognized San Miguel Chief Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang as the "man who honored the memory of my mother."
About 5 minutes into his speech, Duterte apologized for making a "big mistake" – he forgot to greet former president and now 2nd District of Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who was in the audience. To Arroyo, he said, "I told you before, you were still president, that was election time, I said, 'Ma'am, I am a loyal friend.'"
After the launch, Duterte attended the wake of his friends, Judge Dory Avisado and engineer Apolinar Gaite in a Davao City funeral home. He arrived at the wake around dawn on Saturday, November 12.
On Saturday, Malacañang assured the public that Duterte's migraine is nothing serious and was only a natural effect of his jam-packed schedule.
"The long hours and endless trips must be taking their toll on the President. Like any human being, the President needs to take a rest," said Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said, "He's fine."
TV personality Kris Aquino was among those disappointed that Duterte could not make it to the Go Negosyo summit. But she expressed optimism that her interview with Duterte would happen eventually. – Pia Ranada/Rappler.com