VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte flip-flops on missing APEC dinner and photo shoot


AFTER missing the U.S.-Asean meeting last September, President Rodrigo Duterte once again skipped a scheduled meeting with other world leaders.

Duterte was a no-show at the gala dinner and the traditional leaders’ photo shoot during the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders’ Meeting on Nov. 19 in Lima, Peru.

Asked on Nov. 21 why he missed the event, Duterte joked he wanted to promote Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay’s movie career. But the president went on to say his absence was due to jet lag.

STATEMENT:

“I sleep at 3, 4, 5 (a.m.). Iyon ‘yung panahon dito. Talagang ang mata ko hindi ko mapigilan minsan. And even I was listening to others, nagsasara ‘yung…Sabi ko it’s not good to be somebody ‘yung mga greats ng convention tapos ako nakapikit ang mata. Sabi ko mag-uwi na lang muna ako. Hindi rin ako nakatulog. Pero talagang inantok ako jet lag, simply (I was listening to the others and I was unable to keep my eyes open. So I decided to just go home as I could not sleep. It was simply a case of jet lag.)”

(Source: RTVM: Press Conference – Lima, Peru. Nov. 21, 2016. Watch: 4:34 – 5:49)

FLIP-FLOP:

But in an ambush interview on Nov. 24 at the Davao City Wireless Cemetery, Duterte cited a different reason: an upset stomach.

Asked to comment on former president Fidel Ramos’ criticism about his absences, Duterte was consistent about “promoting the movie career” of Yasay.

“Kasi as usually happens, if you are not, sa food…” Duterte continued.

A reporter then asked, “Sumakit ang tiyan niyo, Sir (Did you have an upset stomach, Sir)?”

To which the president replied: “Saan ninyo ako gustong magpuririt (Where do you expect me to take a dump)? Doon sa stage o doon sa — the hotel was just about 10 minutes away. My stomach was not good and I could have exploded anytime.”

Duterte continued by recalling an incident at the Ateneo De Davao University High School: “Every Friday kasi ang Ateneo, di ba you have mass diyan, then you have to…somebody has to lead the prayer, the rosary tindig lahat. The guy leading the rosary, “Hail Mary full of grace…” puwera gaba lang, tapos biglang nag-brrrrt. Pagtingin namin, doon mismo sa…siya iyong nagli-lead doon nag-kicker…hanggang ngayon naamoy ko pa (Every Friday the Ateneo holds a mass and somebody has to lead the rosary. While the guy was leading the prayer we suddenly heard a sound, and we saw yellow, watery stool come out. I still remember the smell.).”

(Source: RTVM: Ambush Interview – Davao City. Nov. 24, 2016. Watch 14:36 – 15:51)

FOR FURTHER READING

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