Pinagtanggol ng Malacañang ang pagiging late ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa graduation rites ng Philippine Military Academy Class kahapon.
Hindi agad nagsimula ang seremonyas ng “Mabalasik” Class of 2019 dahil kinailangan hintayin ang commander-in-chief ng dalawang oras. Pagkasakay niya sa military jeep mapapansin na inalalayan siya ng kanyang mga tauhan sa braso.
Sa panayam kay Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, itinanggi niyang nanghihina ang Presidente.
“He didn’t look weak. He looked very sleepy. He was sleepy because the day before he was working. I think he had only less than two hours of sleep. Every person who is lacking sleep appears to be sleepy as he looked the way he did.”
Nilinaw din ni Panelo na maayos ang kondisyon ni Duterte. Alerto at positibo pa rin siya habang nagtatalumpati sa harapan ng PMA graduates.
“He was very sleepy, so he wanted to get back to bed to get some power nap since he lacks sleep… As we all know by now, the President is a night person. He sleeps at 6 a.m. The time of the event was supposed to be part of his sleeping time, but he had to force himself to wake up and dress up and attend the event,” dagdag pa niya.
Ito rin ang unang pagkakataong hindi personal na iniabot ng Presidente ang diploma ng mga graduating cadets. Ayon kay Panelo, inireserba ni Duterte ang lakas sa iba pang bahagi ng programa. Si Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana ang naatasan magbigay ng mga natirang diploma.