Duterte skips AFP change of command ceremony
President Rodrigo Duterte skipped on Tuesday the change of command ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as his "body temperature" was "slightly affected" due to his hectic schedule the past days.
Duterte was supposed to be the guest speaker in the change of command ceremony and testimonial review in honor of AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr., who has retired.
Lieutenant General Noel Clement succeeded Madrigal, who reached mandatory retirement age of 56.
"The Palace wishes to announce that the President opted not to attend the Change of Command Ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo today, September 24, 2019," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Duterte was instead represented by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
"The punishing schedule of official and social events the previous days has slightly affected the President's body temperature," said Panelo.
"He opted to rest so he can be in his usual healthy self in no time," he added.
Duterte attended a surprise birthday party for Panelo on Monday night in a posh hotel.
In an instagram post by one celebrity who also attended the party, Duterte was seen singing his favorite song "Ikaw."
Duterte was accompanied by his long-time partner Cielito "Honeylet" Avancena. Celerina Monte/DMS