President Rodrigo Duterte has finally appeared following a lot of talk regarding his whereabouts after being noticeably absent from the public eye since last week.
In a speech at the Malacañang, the president addressed the Muslim community during Eid'l Fitr celebrations.
Prior to this, Duterte was last seen on June 20 in Cagayan de Oro City, where he visited the soldiers who were injured in the ongoing Marawi City siege. However, it was radio silence for the publicly outspoken Duterte after that.
According to Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Duterte is just busy filling up paperwork behind the scenes, Philstar reports.
This wasn’t the first time that the feisty president, who is known for his generous public appearances, went missing in action this month. He was also MIA from the period of June 12 to 16, including the annual Independence Day ceremonies, which led to speculation that he might be seriously ill.
The Philippine leader, who is the oldest to hold the position at 72 years of age, later reemerged on June 17 and explained that he was just tired so he had to take an extended rest. Duterte also stated that he went incognito as a private citizen on a confidential trip during his absence, although he declined to share more information on this.
His absences come at a time when the country’s leadership is being tested by the rising threat of terrorism in the South along with public unrest due to the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
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