• President-elect Rodrigo Duterte was a no-show in the 118th Independence Day commemoration in Davao City
• City Administrator Jesus Quitain represented him
• Asked about the whereabouts of Duterte, Quitain said the incoming president was probably still asleep
Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte skipped the 118th Independence Day commemoration at the Rizal Park in Davao City on Sunday, June 12.
City Administrator Jesus Quitain instead led the freedom commemoration rites. He represented Duterte, who has served as mayor of Davao City for over two decades, in the flag-raising ceremony at the Davao City Hall at 7 a.m. followed by laying of wreath at the monument of national hero Jose Rizal.
Local residents told ABS-CBN that they did not mind Duterte’s absence as they were used to him not attending similar celebrations in previous years.
Quitain said it was not the first time that the mayor, who will be sworn in as the 16th President of the Philippines in June 30, did not attend Independence Day celebrations.
“I cannot remember him attending the Independence Day celebration but I understand at the initial, beginning of his terms before, he used to attend,” the city administrator said.
Asked about the whereabouts of the president-elect, Quitain said he does not know, but offered a hunch.
He said: “Sa totoo lang, hindi ko alam kung nasaan siya ngayon. Pero alam ko tulog, dahil umaga pa eh.”
[To be honest, I don’t know where he is right now. But I know he is still asleep because it is still early morning.]
The incoming president is known to be a night person and is used to waking up late. He previously said that his work schedule starts at 1 p.m.