PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is cutting short his trip to Papua New Guinea, where he is supposed to attend the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit, Malacañang announced on Friday, November 16.
Duterte was initially scheduled to return home on Sunday, November 18, but in an updated media advisory sent to Palace reporters, he is slated to leave Port Moresby late Saturday evening (November 17).
"Please be informed that [President Duterte] will leave [Papua New Guinea] on November 17 at 11:15 p.m., and arrive in Davao City on November 18 at 3:15 a.m.," the advisory read, without citing further reason on Duterte's shortened trip to Papua New Guinea.
"No more arrival statement," it added.
Cabinet members who are part of the Philippine delegation to Papua New Guinea will instead attend the Apec events, including the informal dialogue with the International Monetary Fund, on Duterte's behalf, the Palace said.
Prior to this, Duterte also skipped several engagements during the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and Related Summits held in Singapore to take "power naps."
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday, November 15, justified Duterte's absence in some Asean events, saying that the President needed "power naps" in between summits since he only had little sleep on the first day of the annual event.
Panelo likewise assured the public that Duterte's non-attendance had "nothing to do with his physical health and well-being, which have been the subject of speculation." (SunStar Philippines)