Duterte leads Rizal Day commemoration rites

Friday, January 6th, 2017. Filed under: News Philippine News
President Rodrigo Duterte accompanied by National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Acting Chair and Commissioner Dr. Rene R. Escalante(left) and Lieutenant General Eduardo Año(right) Armed Forces chief of staff, leads the wreath laying ceremony during the 120th celebration of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30, 2016 at the Rizal National Monument in Rizal Park, Manila.(MNS photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte accompanied by National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Acting Chair and Commissioner Dr. Rene R. Escalante(left) and Lieutenant General Eduardo Año(right) Armed Forces chief of staff, leads the wreath laying ceremony during the 120th celebration of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30, 2016 at the Rizal National Monument in Rizal Park, Manila.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Dec 30 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday led the commemoration rites of the Rizal Day in Luneta, Manila, his first as the country’s chief executive.

Duterte arrived at RizalPark ahead of schedule, minutes before 7 a.m. This is despite ending a series of interviews before midnight the previous day.

The President was given arrival honors by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año.

Duterte was joined by his Cabinet, Executive Sec. Salvador Medialdea,  Foreign Affairs Sec. Perfecto Yasay Jr., Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, and chief presidential legal counsel Sec. Salvador Panelo.

Former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada also joined the commemoration rites, days after he was hospitalized.

After the wreath laying ceremony, Duterte greeted the National Hero’s descendants led by 1964 Miss International Gemma Cruz-Araneta.

Duterte then crossed the street to the Quirino Grandstand to greet a crowd that gathered to catch a glimpse of him.

Also in attendance were US ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and Russian ambassador the Philippines Igor Khovaev. (MNS)

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