- President Rodrigo Duterte arrived late at the graduation rites of the Philippine Military Academy
- The Palace said that the President was sleepy and was struggling to stay awake
- President Duterte was not also able to fulfill his role in handing out the diplomas
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo explained the reason why President Rodrigo Duterte was late for two hours at the Philippine Military Academy’s graduation rites on Sunday.
KAMI learned that Panelo also shared the reason why Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana opted to distribute the diplomas, instead of the President himself.
In a report by the GMA News, Panelo said that the President only had two hours of sleep, and that was why he was “sleepy” and late.
“He usually sleeps at 6 am, he had to wake up at 8:30 am for the PMA graduation rites so he had only two hours sleep. The event at 9am was part of his sleeping time,” Panelo said in a statement.
“He is a night person. He was so sleepy when he arrived at the venue. He struggled to be awake,” he added.
As to the distribution of diplomas, Panelo said that the protocol was it should be handed out by the President or the Secretary of the National Defense. President Duterte tasked Sec. Lorenzana to do it instead to reserve his energy.
“He reserved his energy for the other ceremonial acts he had to perform for the graduation rites,” Panelo said.
“By the time he delivered his speech, he was already in his usual alert, impassioned and assertive self,” he continued.
The Presidential Spokesperson assured that the President is in perfect shape and that he is in good health.
As reported by the CNN Philippines, President Duterte only handed out 2 out of 261 diplomas, and Lorenzana did the rest.
A military officer also mentioned that it was the “first time” in modern history that the President did not hand out the certificates to the cadets.
“Tradition na kasi na Commander-in-Chief ang guest at namimigay ng diplomas sa graduates,” the military officer who opted not to be named said.
As previously reported by KAMI, President Duterte quipped a joke to Vice President Leni Robredo amid the “Bikoy” controversies.
Robredo was tagged behind the anti-Duterte videos to allegedly oust President Duterte. However, Robredo denied these allegations.
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