Rody skips AFP change-of-command rites

Pres. Duterte.

(Third update) — President Rodrigo Duterte was a no-show at the Change of Command ceremony Tuesday of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo.

The Commander-in-Chief was supposed to witness the military’s turnover of leadership from Gen. Benjamin Madrigal to Lt. Gen. Noel Clement but instead, Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana was designated as his representative.

“The punishing schedule of official and social events the previous days has slightly affected the President’s body temperature. He opted to rest so he can be in his usual healthy self in no time,” part of the statement Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo sent to reporters read.

Duterte’s mouthpiece, however, did not disclose when the Chief Executive exactly decided to skip the event as it was only announced a few minutes before the event started with all the other VIPs present.

Aside from Lorenzana, also present were Vice President Leni Robredo, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Philippine National Pilice chief Oscar Albayalde, Former AFP chief Carlito Galvez, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) interim minister Al Haj “Murad” Ebrahim.