MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his family spent the weekend in Hong Kong to celebrate the birthday of his long-time partner, Honeylet Avanceña.
Former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go confirmed that Duterte left the country with Honeylet and their daugher, Kitty, on Friday (Feb. 15) night and will return on Sunday (Feb. 17).
“Totoo po na pumunta ng Hong Kong si Pangulong Duterte na kasama ang long-time partner nya na si Ma’am Honeylet Avanceña at anak nila na si Kitty para sa isang personal na biyahe (It is true that President Duterte went to Hong Kong with his long-time partner, Ma’am Honeylet, and their daughter, Kitty, for a personal trip),” Go said in a statement.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo echoed Go’s statement and bared that it was also to celebrate Honeylet’s birthday.
“Yup he is in HK with Honeylet. It's the latter's birthday,” Panelo told reporters in a text message.
According to Go, it was Kitty who requested her father for the trip as a “gift” since it is an activity they used to do as a family even before Duterte became President.
“It was actually Kitty who requested her father for the trip, as a gift. Nagawa na ito nila noon kahit nung Mayor pa ng Davao City si PRRD (They used to do it even when PRRD was still mayor of Davao City). The weekend getaway is for rest and recreation,” Go said.
Go said Duterte designated Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as officer-in-charge while the President is abroad.
“Bago po umalis ang pangulo ay tinalaga nya si Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea na OIC at in charge sa pang araw-araw na operations ng Office of the President (Before the President left, he designated Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as OIC to be in charge of the daily operations of the Office of the President),” he added.
Duterte’s trip to Hong Kong takes place four months after he and his family spent the weekend in the same country to take a break on Oct. 7, 2018.
The President also met some 2,500 Filipinos in Hong Kong after attending the Boao Economic Forum Asia in the southern Chinese province of Hainan in April 2018. (PNA)