President apologizes to VP.
PICSCourtesy: Inquirer.net and ABS-CBN
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It did take its own time in coming but come it did. The much awaited apology from the President to the Vice President materialized at the Philippine Military Academy.
The circumstances were such that it looked like a spontaneous gesture since the President failed to acknowledge the VP.
He did not greet Leni Robredo while beginning his address though he acknowledged all others present.
Moreover, President Duterte has been waging a hostile war ever since her election at last year’s elections.
His hostility which was not really understandable forced her to resign as Housing Secretary three months ago.
But, this glaring mistake was not lost on many since the relationship between the two government icons is well-known. However, during his address, an aide brought this error to his notice.
The mercurial Head of State did not miss a beat; he apologized to her immediately saying it was not intentional.
By that time, he had already finished about one-third of his 11minutes’ address. The President’s address was more than a few paragraphs old, by then.
In fact, he went on to say that, the oversight was that of the person who wrote the speech. This evoked spontaneous laughter and applause from the crowd.
Furthermore, while apologizing profusely, he did not fail to praise her beauty. In addition, observers also noted that both were not sitting together which was against established practice.
The seating arrangement placed Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana between them.
However, Mr. Duterte shook hands with her when he arrived on the PMA stage.
The recent meetings
Incidentally, this was only the second interaction between the two top executives after her resignation in December. The Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council took place in Malacañang in January during which both were civil to each other.
While Duterte launched tirade after tirade, she did not react but he barred her from attending Cabinet meetings. This was the last straw and the Vice President had to resign as Secretary Housing in December.
The reasoning given by Duterte was that she actively participated in anti-Duterte rallies; she denied this vehemently.
The occasion this time was the passing out parade of the Graduates of the Philippines Military Academy on March 12th, 2017. The protocol required the Vice President and the Defense Secretary’s presence apart from top military and Police officials.
The elegant Vice President donned a sober purple dress covering her knees. She participated in the prize distribution ceremony by presenting the Vice Presidential Saber No. 2 to the second-placed Philip Viscaya.
He is from the Salaknib class and emerged in the top10 along with Carlo Canlas.
The academy selected Viscaya for induction into the Army while Canlas will join the Air Force.
Prior to the passing out ceremony the top ten candidates from the Salaknib class interacted with the Vice President.
Later, Robredo also inspected the barracks of the Female cadets of the PMA. She had a word of appreciation for the cleanliness and hygiene in the female accommodation.
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Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson
Monday, March 13, 2017