Malacañang on Wednesday said that President Rodrigo Duterte had a "productive and fruitful" second day spent at the ASEAN Summit in Singapore even if he did not attend six of 11 events.
"The Palace is pleased to announce that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had a fruitful and productive participation in today’s ASEAN-related events. He attended the 21st ASEAN-China Summit, the 3rd ASEAN-Russia Summit, and the 21st ASEAN-Japan Summit," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
Duterte represented the Philippines as the dialogue coordinator between ASEAN and China during the 21st ASEAN-China Summit where he focused on ASEAN and China's commitment to work towards the conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the disputed South China Sea.
Meanwhile, the need to create closer ties between the security agencies of Russia and ASEAN to combat international terrorism, violent extremism, and transnational crimes were raised by Duterte during the 3rd ASEAN-Russia Summit.
At the 21st ASEAN-Japan Summit, the President took the opportunity to thank Japan for the assistance extended to Typhoon Ompong victims.
He also underscored the importance of the ASEAN-Japan collaboration to foster resilience amid climate change and disasters.
Aside from the summits, Duterte also had a bilateral meeting with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsieh Loong, and he was a witness to the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Eurasian Economic Commission and ASEAN on Economic Cooperation.
President Duterte on Wednesday skipped six out of 11 events at the ASEAN Summit, including the gala dinner Singapore hosted for him and his fellow heads of government.
Panelo said Duterte took power naps because he worked late and had only less than three hours of sleep.
Panelo said that Duterte’s absence had "nothing to do with his physical health and well-being which have been the subject of speculation.”
“The President’s constantly punishing work schedule is proof that he is in top physical shape,” Panelo added. — BAP, GMA News