Duterte makes surprise visit at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   June 10, 2019   •   2985

President Rodrigo Duterte makes a surprise visit at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday morning made a surprise visit at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) following reports about delays and cancellations of several local and international flights.

Duterte made rounds at the NAIA Terminal 2 in Pasay City around 2 a.m., according to a news release from the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

He was accompanied by officials from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

During his visit, the President asked airline officials about the flight cancellations and diversions, and if affected or inconvenienced passengers were given proper assistance.

He also discussed how flight aberrations could be minimized, as well as a long-term solution to address the problem.

“The President apologized for the inconveniences to the public because of the delays, and I understand, the head of the NAIA committed to the President they are doing something about the problems in NAIA,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters.

On Sunday, more than 50 international and domestic flights at NAIA were canceled and diverted to Clark International Airport in Pampanga after ramp operations were suspended due to the inclement weather.

Airport operations were suspended for about three hours, from 6:40 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) issued a red lightning alert due to bad weather.

A red lightning alert is a safety measure taken to prevent any untoward incident from happening when flashes of lightning are prevalent in the immediate area and may endanger personnel, passengers, and even flight operations.

MIAA said the lightning alert was later downgraded to yellow, which was considered as a normal alert status.

Authorities earlier apologized to passengers affected by flight delays and cancellations.

Airport operations have since returned to normal. (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Palace opposes Urban Dictionary definition of ‘Duterte’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 20, 2019

The Malacañang refuted the Urban Dictionary for defining ‘Duterte’ as ‘to scam, trick, or con.

During a press briefing on Tuesday (Aug 20), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo will seek to counter the definition on the website.

“‘Duterte’ to us means honest, incorruptible, politically-willed person, courageous, selfless, honest, transparent and all good things…and other synonymous terms,” Panelo said.

The definition was uploaded by an unknown internet user one month ago. Urban Dictionary is crowd-sourced online dictionary for slang words and phrases.

Panelo suspects, the uploader might be a member of anti-Duterte groups.—AAC

Palace: Duterte in good health, went motorcycle-riding over the weekend

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2019

File: President Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday assured that President Rodrigo Duterte is in good health despite being out of the public eye for more than a week now.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement amid concerns on Duterte’s health and absence in the past week.

He added that Duterte even went for a motorcycle ride in Davao City over the weekend.

“In fact, he shared to me yesterday, sabi nya, ‘Alam mo ba na I went out sa motorsiklo?’ Nag motorsiklo daw siya sa subdivision niya. Hindi ko na alam kung kahapon yun o the day before,” he said.

“It only shows na kung nakaka-motor siya, he’s in good health,” he added.

Duterte was last seen in public on August 9 when he attended a police event in Camp Crame in Quezon City.  

Panelo said that when not attending any public engagement, the chief executive deals with paperwork and private meetings.

“Ang sabi niya, marami siyang trabaho na mga papeles, binabasa niya isa-isa. Hindi siya makapirma ng hindi niya thoroughly reading these papers,” Panelo said.

“At the same time, meron siyang mga private meetings and courtesy call,” he added.

The president’s health has been a recurring issue given his age.

At 74, Duterte is the oldest to be elected Philippine president in history.

He previously revealed he was suffering from Barret’s esophagus or medically known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, as well as perpetual pain due to a spine injury and constipation. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte reactivates El Niño task force

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 16, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte reactivated the El Niño task force this week after reports of recurrence of El Niño phenomenon.

The Memorandum No. 38, signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Tuesday (Aug 13) aims to mitigate the effects of El Niño.

“Recent monitoring and analyses of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) indicate that the warm sea surface temperature fully developed into the El Niño phenomenon,” according to the memorandum.

READ: PAGASA: 17 provinces face drought due to El Niño

The task force will submit a monthly report to the president through the executive secretary on the implementation of the memorandum order.

PAGASA previously said the dry spell might continue until August.—AAC

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