At first this trip was described as personal, but it is now considered a “working visit” since Duterte is meeting Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir.
Duterte leaves for KL meet with Malaysian PM
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - July 15, 2018 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Duterte left for Kuala Lumpur yesterday afternoon for a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister tomorrow, without fanfare and the usual grand foyer honors and departure statement.

The President did not conduct any press conference as he brought a “lean and mean team.”

At first this trip was described as personal, but it is now considered a “working visit” since Duterte is meeting Mahathir. 

Duterte will be accompanied only by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano when he meets with the prime minister.

A cameraman and a photographer were assigned to cover the President’s visit.

Today Duterte is watching the bout between Senator and boxing champion Manny Pacquaio and Argentinian Lucas Matthysse.

Duterte left Davao where he has spent the past three days, taking a private jet for the two-and-a-half hour trip to Kuala Lumpur. 

This is only the second time that Duterte has taken an 8-seater private jet. The first time was last April for the ASEAN Leaders Summit in Singapore. Last month, he took a commercial flight to Seoul, South Korea for an official visit. 

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has been tasked as government caretaker while Duterte is on the working visit to Kuala Lumpur.

Guevarra has been assigned as the caretaker as Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea is also out of  the country. 

Support for Pacquiao

Meanwhile, lawmaker-friends of Pacquiao are also watching his fight today with Matthysse.

Spotted in the Malaysian capital yesterday were Reps. Rodel Batocabe and Alfredo Garbin of party-list group Ako Bicol, Lito Atienza of Buhay, Enrico Pineda of 1-Pacman, Winston Castelo and Vincent Crisologo of Quezon City, Tobias Tiangco of Navotas, Napoleon Dy of Isabela, Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito.

A source said the lawmakers traveled to Kuala Lumpur at their own expense. The same source added that more senators and congressmen were arriving in the Malaysian capital last night.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said a number of congressmen had asked for authority to travel to watch the fight between Pacquaio and Matthysse at the Axiata Arena today.

“I could not recall how many of the congressmen are in Kuala Lumpur. I just know they had their travel authority processed,” Alvarez said.

Also seen in the cheering squad for Pacquiao was Bureau of Corrections chief, retired police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa previously came under fire for watching the boxing champion’s bout with American Jessie Vargas in 2016, supposedly sponsored by the boxer-senator. – With Jess Diaz

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