Duterte defends absence during breakfast summit

Published November 16, 2018, 11:28 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Genalyn Kabiling

PORT MORESBY — President Duterte has defended his absence during a recent breakfast summit between Southeast Asian countries and Australia, saying it was an informal gathering anyway.

President Rodrigo Duterte during the oath taking of the newly elected officers of the Malacañang Press Corps. at Malacañang Palace on late Tuesday. (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte (Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President also explained that he does not eat fancy breakfast so he decided to skip the summit and catch some sleep.

Duterte was trying to fend off criticisms that he was being lazy when he missed several key events in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last Wednesday, including the ASEAN-Australia Informal Breakfast summit. He is now in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

“Dumating kami from Davao 1:30 a.m. so we had to fix our things at itong mga Australyano di ko rin maintindihan, 8:30 ang invitation informal breakfast [We arrived from Davao at 1:30 a.m. so we had to fix our things. I cannot understand these Australians. The invitation was for an informal breakfast at 8:30 a.m.],” Duterte said during a meeting with the Filipino community.

“Sabi ko sa mga sundalo bakit ako magpunta doon, unang una hindi ako kumakain ng breakfast. Totoo. Pangalawa, informal. Ano ipakain nila dyan sa atin, kangaroo? [I told my soldiers, ‘Why will I go there? First of all I don’t eat breakfast. That’s true. Second, It was informal. What will they feed us? Kangaroo?],” he said.

The President also hit back at Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who called him lazy for skipping some ASEAN events.

“Tapos binabatikos daw ni Trillanes, tamad ako. Letse ka (Trillanes was cricking me for being lazy. You fool],” said Duterte, who earlier found nothing wrong with his power nap in the middle of the regional summit.

Duterte also bared that he prefers to eat simple food rather than lavish meals such as buffets. He said he often brings canned sardines and corned beef whenever he travels abroad.

“Every time, nagbabaon ako ng karne norte, tuyo at sardinas, ‘yan lang ang kinakain ko, hindi ako pwede ng buffet [I bring along corned beef, dried fish and sardines. That’s what I eat. I can’t eat in buffets],” he said.

“Punta kayo sa hotel ngayon, bigyan ko kayo ng karne norte [You can go to my hotel and I’ll give you corned beef],” he told the crowd.

The President earlier drawn criticisms from some groups for skipping key events during the ASEAN summit in Singapore to take a power nap. The Palace however explained that the President needed to take power naps after losing some sleep from his gruelling work schedule.