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Disappointed crowd wonders: Where’s the President?

Screenshot from PTV News Mindanao

DAVAO CITY, Philippines–After six hours of waiting for President Rodrigo Duterte to arrive, expectant crowd in two events here went home late at night Friday, disappointed because the President failed to show up.

Senator Koko Pimentel told them the President could not come because of migraine.

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Duterte failed to show up at the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) rally scheduled at the Crocodile Park here and earlier at the University of Mindanao gymnasium where he was supposed to turnover Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOA) to agrarian reform beneficiaries in the Davao region.

People were already waiting for the President an hour before the 5 pm turnover of CLOA at the UM gym and the scheduled 6:30 pm PDP Laban rally at the Crocodile Park in Maa here.

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But the President was nowhere in sight when senatorial bets led by former Bureau of Correction Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and the rest of the PDP Laban candidates took turns onstage to talk about why they were running.

Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who was ousted from his post in the House of Representatives following his tiff with the President’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, was also seen onstage, campaigning.

Later, reporters were told that the President would arrive at the PDP Laban rally at 9 pm.

Already hungry and exhausted, the crowd was still waiting for the President at past 10 pm when former Senate President and PDP Laban president Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III took the microphone to say that the President had to cancel his plans to attend the event because of migraine.

The crowd suddenly stood up and left, ignoring the announcement that Mocha Uson was still about to stage a show.

The President also failed to show up during the ceremonial distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) at the University of Mindanao here at 5 pm on Friday.

Mayor Duterte distributed the CLOA on behalf of her father but she did not explain why her father failed to show up.

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A total of 2,095 agrarian reform beneficiaries received 3,457 certificates of land ownership awards  from the Department of Agrarian Reform.

The CLOAs that were distributed covered a total of 4,525.56 hectares.

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