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.)
President Rodrigo Duterte will be having a three-day break beginning Tuesday (November 12), according to Malacañang.
However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Monday (November 11) clarified that it will not be an official leave since the president will still be doing his paperwork. The president will fly home to Davao Monday night.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will be the officer-in-charge of the Executive branch while Duterte rests, according to Panelo
“Well upon the advice of friends, of colleagues, and the world, it seems. And most likely upon the advice of doctors also to take a respite from his punishing schedule,” he said.
Panelo clarified there are no medical concerns that prompted the three-day break.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit in South Korea from November 25 to 27.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed on Sunday (November 10) that the president will be attending the summit in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the dialogue partnership between the regional bloc and South Korea.
“He will push through with the trip,” Panelo said.
President Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-In are also expected to have a bilateral meeting to discuss trade and security issues.
The Philippines and South Korea have recently celebrated its 70th bilateral relations.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
The Malacañang has welcomed Vice President Leni Robredo’s decision to accept the offer to become the drug czar for the administration’s war on illegal drugs.
On Wednesday (November 6), Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the vice president is welcome to join the cabinet meeting on Thursday (November 7) to talk to President Rodrigo Duterte about the parameters of her power.
“So she would know exactly what she will do or what she intends to do, to tell the President what she has in mind so the President can help her,” he said.
Panelo also lauded Robredo for accepting the offer of the chief executive.
“By her acceptance, it shows that she is much smarter than her colleagues in the opposition who don’t want her to succeed,” Panelo added.
The Malacañang confirmed that the drug czar will have all the access in the intelligence reports and documents on the anti-drug war.
Panelo also reiterated that the president’s offer was not a trap and assured the cabinet will support her.
“We will give all the support, being a member of the cabinet, it behooves all of to help each other because her success is the success of the cabinet as well as this administration and ultimately the Filipino people,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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