By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte is back in the public eye after welcoming a new Thailand ambassador in Malacañang Tuesday afternoon.
In his first public appearance after a weeklong absence, the President accepted the credentials of Thai Ambassador Vasin Ruangprateepsaeng and congratulated him on his new assignment in the country.
Duterte was last seen in public when he cast his ballot in Davao City last May 13.
“Your Excellency, I was informed that you’re already here. Pardon for about two minutes late. I was just signing some papers. But I am very happy of your presence today and congratulations to your new deployment. I understand this is the first ambassadorial assignment that you have for the Republic of Thailand,” the President told the Thai ambassador during the ceremony held at the Palace.
Duterte also told the new ambassador he will not have a hard time while in the country, citing the same aspiration of the two nations for a peaceful region.
“I’m sure that you would learn so many things along the way. You won’t have a hard time. We are similar in all things including our desire to have a peaceful southeast Pacific region,” he added.
His latest Palace engagement was only open to television cameras and photographers so journalists were forced to monitor the event on the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s official Facebook page.
The President was earlier rumored to have been confined at the hospital last weekend but the Palace denied such rumors.
Photos of the President having a meal at the Bahay ng Pagbabago were released by his former assistant Christopher Go to dispel talk about his alleged deteriorating health.
The Palace claimed that the President was working even though he had been away from public view.