PRESIDENT RODRIGO R. Duterte’s attendance to the Nov. 16-17 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Chile still depends on his doctors’ advice as well as developments in the ongoing unrest in the host country.
“According to Chief of Protocol (Robert A.) Borje, they’re still preparing for Chile but the participation of the President will depend on the doctor’s advice,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo told reporters on Thursday.
He also said, “We will have to wait for the Chile government to advise us… The health of the President comes foremost in mind and his safety.”
Chile’s Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera has said that there was “no chance” of calling off the APEC meet or the United Nations climate change conference COP25 in December despite recent violent protests in the capital Santiago, Reuters reported on Oct. 25.
Mr. Panelo said Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez will substitute for the President should he fail to attend the summit.
Mr. Duterte cut short his working visit to Japan last week due to “unbearable pain” following a fall from a motorbike the week before.
The Palace reported that Mr. Duterte was told by his doctors to take pain killers and limit physical activity to decrease his muscle spasms. Nonetheless, a photo of the President sitting on a motorbike was later posted by Senator Christopher Lawrence T. Go, former presidential special assistant. — Gillian M. Cortez