Roque: Duterte skipped APEC gala dinner to oversee recovery efforts of kidnapped Vietnamese
President Rodrigo Duterte skipped on Friday the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation gala dinner and cultural presentation as he had to attend to the problem back home involving the Vietnamese fishermen who were kidnapped by the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group, his spokesman said on Saturday.
In a press conference in Da Nang, Vietnam, Secretary Harry Roque said Duterte had received reports from the military regarding the recovery of four Vietnamese kidnapped victims.
However, one of the victims was already lifeless when he was recovered, he said.
"The Philippine government expresses their condolences and sympathies to family of the fourth Vietnamese fisherman who has been found dead. But it was important for the Philippine President in fact to supervise the recovery efforts," he said.
Roque said the rescued fishermen were in the custody of the Philippine Navy.
After the debriefing, the fishermen would be turned over to the Vietnamese authorities.
Roque said he was not sure if Duterte already relayed what happened to Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.
"I’m not aware if he has personally relayed but Vietnamese authorities have been informed," he said. Celerina Monte/DMS