PRESIDENT Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said Tuesday that his scheduled trip to Vietnam and Indonesia this September will not push through.

Aquino made the announcement during the awarding of Metrobank Foundation of outstanding teachers of the year.

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He is supposed to visit Vietnam on September 13 to 14 and Indonesia on September 14 to 15.

But Aquino said the trips were cancelled due to conflict of schedule in the two countries.

“Yung Indonesia I understand can only accommodate us sometime in October. Yung Vietnam… we have asked if we can do what we have to do in Vietnam on one trip rather than two trips,” he said.

With the cancellation, the first official foreign trip of Aquino as President would be in United States in September 20 to 22 for the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Aquino has yet to confirm if he could set a meeting with US President Barack Obama. "Perhaps on the sidelights but not yet definite,” he said.

By tradition, the President of the Philippines initially visits countries, which are members of the Asean region such as Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos and Malaysia.

Aquino however stressed that his cancelled trips was not a unilateral decision but also recommended by the host countries.

Recognition to cops deferred

Meanwhile, Tuesday's awarding ceremony in Malacanang for the country’s best police officers has been postponed.

Metrobank Foundation was supposed to recognize best cops and teachers for this year in a ceremony at Rizal Hall in Malacanang. But only the conferment for the outstanding teachers pushed through.

The ceremony came a week after the bloody hostage crisis in Quirino Grandstand where policemen were highly criticized for alleged negligence and incompetence in handling the case.

Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepena explained that they only deferred the conferment for police officers and will go on with based on the President’s schedule.

“We thought we would defer it at some future time so that they will be given the same honor and recognition that they deserve,” Sobrepena said.

The 10 police officers who were supposed to be awarded are Police Superintendents Leo Manaog Francisco, Florencio Teodosio Ortilla, Noel Ruto Ponsaran, and Sidney Navarro Villaflor; Police Officers 3 Edilberto Barabas Euraoba III, Shella Mae Acanto Sangrines, Zoraida Masillan Aripin, Joey Valerta Castillon and Roel Padernal Paclibar; and Senior Police Officer 2 Hermie Soriano Raymundo.

The 10 teachers who were give recognition were Grace Salvatus, Miladith Polutan, Conchita Ibarondo, Nancy Aquino, Janeth Morata-Fuentes, Mercedita Villamayor, Estrelita Pena, Mercelita Labial, Rowena Cristina and Raymund Sison.

Raj makes visit to the Palace

Miss Universe fourth runner-up Venus Raj pays a courtesy call to the President Tuesday.

The event was set at 3:30 p.m., where Raj arrived at the Ramos Room five minutes ahead of schedule while Aquino came at 4:25 p.m.

President greeted Raj for her success and had a photo opportunity with the 22-year-old beauty queen.

Raj came to Malacanang together with her mother and Stella Marquez-Araneta, founder of Bb. Pilipinas Charities.

Before the courtesy call, the President led the conferment ceremony of 10 outstanding teachers in the country, where he received P5 million check donation from the

Metrobank which he decided to donate to Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.

Sobrepena said the amount will be used to help finance the construction of an island reactor at the Estero de Paco that will serve as a sewerage treatment facility in the

area.

Aquino then proceeded to the awarding ceremony of Ramon Magsaysay Award in the Cultural Center of the Philippines after meeting with Raj.(Jill Beltran/Sunnex)