PRESIDENT Duterte designated Executive Salvador Medialdea as the officer-in-charge (OIC) who would oversee the day-to-day operations of the Office of the President while he is in Thailand from November 1 to 4 to attend the 35th Association of Southeast Asian (Asean) Summit.
The President, in signing Special Order No. 1125 yesterday, said Medialdea would also “oversee the general administration of the Executive Department.”
The issuance said the Executive Secretary “shall, if necessary, act for and on behalf of the President, except on matters that the President is required by the Constitution to act in person, during the time that the President is outside the Republic of the Philippines.”
It added that “all acts of the Executive Secretary for and on behalf of the President pursuant to this Order shall be deemed acts of the President unless disapproved or reprobated by the President.”
The President is expected to fly to Bangkok on November 1 to attend the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summit. He is expected to visit the tombs of his parents in Davao City before he leaves on Friday.
Duterte will be accompanied by partner Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista, among others.
He is expected to join the different activities and meetings at the ASEAN which includes the 35th ASEAN Summit plenary and leaders’ sessions, the separate summit meetings with dialogue partners China, India, United States, Korea, Japan and the United Nations; the ASEAN Plus Three summit; and the East Asia Summit.
He is also expected to attend the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit; the Special Lunch on Sustainable Development; the Mekong-Japan Summit Working Dinner; the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit; the Indo-Pacific Business Forum; as well as the ASEAN Summit opening ceremony, the Gala Dinner, the ASEAN Summit closing ceremony and turnover of chairmanship from Thailand to Vietnam.
In the event that the President is unable to attend any event, Locsin would be tapped to represent him.
The President a couple of weeks ago had a “minor” motorcycle accident which reportedly contributed to the severe and unbearable pain that he felt when he was in Tokyo in Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony for Japanese Emperor Naruhito last week.
Duterte cut short his visit to Japan to undergo check up in Manila and doctors had said that he was suffering from muscle spasms. He was advised to rest and take some pain medications.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, concurrent presidential spokesman, said the President continues to consult with his doctors and there is no decision yet if he would proceed or not with his other remaining foreign trips this year.
The President is expected to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in Santiago in Chile from November 15 to 17 and the Association of Southeast Asian-Republic of Korea Summit (ASEAN-ROK) Commemorative Summit from November 25 to 26 in Busan, South Korea.