EXECUTIVE Secretary Salvador Medialdea yesterday led the wreath-laying ceremony for the 155th birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio in Caloocan City.
Medialdea attended the rites on behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte, who had to fly to Mindanao to look into an incident of insurgency there.
“He has to fly to Mindanao to attend to the problem of insurgency in Mindanao,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier told reporters in a text message without elaborating.
Medialdea was joined by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairman Rene Escalante, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Carlito Galvez, Jr. in the ceremony.
This isn’t the first time Duterte did not attend Bonifacio Day rites.
In 2016, Duterte missed Bonifacio Day ceremonies and visited soldiers in Lanao del Sur who were fighting the Maute group at that time. Last year, Duterte also missed Bonifacio Day rites because he visited a “conflict” area in Mindanao.
Instead, he issued a statement calling on Filipinos to fight corruption, criminality and illegal drugs as well as terror and violence.
“Like Bonifacio, let us light the flames of change that will bring about real and meaningful transformation in our nation,” Duterte said.