“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” – Walter Hagen
NEW YORK CITY – Expect the unexpected. That’s the unwritten rule in any presidential preparations.
In a presidential visit, it’s better to expect more, organize and plan ahead and be spurned, than to be lax, lenient, and sloppy and regret if shortcomings and any untoward incident happen.
It is given that a presidential itinerary changes even in the eleventh hour.
A pre-announced presidential visit isn’t fixed.
It can be canceled or postponed for security reasons, among other valid excuses, anytime. Ditto with the composition and number of presidential entourage.
Only the heads of state can change their minds and won’t get a rap on the knuckles as a result.
Iloilo City Hall in the Philippines said it is “unsure” if President Rodrigo Duterte will grace the 50th Anniversary of Dinagyang Festival on January 27 and 28, 2018.
Mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa III, who reduced his expectations to 50 percent, cited the President’s commitment to visit India and Israel, respectively, this month.
Before Malacañang disclosed President Duterte’s trip to India and Isreal, however, no less than Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had confirmed that the President had already accepted Espinosa’s invitation during a Malacañang visit in November 2017.
Even in disclosing the “slim” possibility of President Duterte’s arrival, Espinosa nevertheless has made mention of the kind of security preparations that await the presidential entourage.
He gave potential assassins the idea that there would be two sets of decoy vehicles and a total of 20 back up vehicles.
President Duterte is probably aware that it is important to visit the Ilonggos during their cultural and religious festivities to at least bridge whatever gap inflicted by his series of bombshells against the “most shabulized city” in the country and his false accusations against dismissed Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog who is still very much popular among the latter’s constituents.
The scheduled oath-taking of Iloilo Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr. as a member of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) on January 18, 2018 will be one week short of President Duterte’s scheduled visit.
Although House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has been scheduled to administer Defensor’s oath together with his son, Iloilo 3rd District Rep. Arthur Jr., it would be more swashbuckling if the President witnessed the event.
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