Medialdea to be Duterte’s proxy in Independence Day rites, Palace says

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With President Rodrigo Duterte still in his hometown Davao City, Independence Day rites in June 12 will be attended by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea instead.

“Itinalaga po niya si Executive Secretary para maging representante sa paglalagay ng wreath at flag-raising sa Luneta at matapos po ng seremonya, ipe-play po yung address ng Pangulo natin, yung June 12 Independence Day address ng ating Pangulo, kabahagi po yung kanyang talumpati, mensahe sa programa sa Luneta,” Presidential spokesperson Roque said during an online briefing.

[He designated the Executive Secretary to represent him in the wreath-laying and flag-raising rites at Rizal Park. After the ceremony, the President’s June 12 Independence Day message will be aired.]

Roque explained that the president’s presence would only encourage crowds to attend, which is against the COVID-19 protocols enforced by the government.

“Pag nandyan ang Presidente, dadami po ang tao ang nais lumapit sa kanya. Di po maiiwasan yan, kahit saan po tayo mag-celebrate, sa Luneta o sa Davao, yan po ang problema,” he said.

[If the President is present, the number of people who want to go near him will swell. That cannot be prevented, whether we celebrate it in Luneta or in Davao.]

Roque earlier urged the public who are planning to stage protests on Independence Day to just turn to social media to prevent physical contact in light of the continuing threat of COVID-19 pandemic.

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