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    President Duterte to send off SEA Games-bound Filipino athletes in Malacanang rites

    Aug 6, 2017
    President Duterte with the Rio Olympics-bound Filipino athletes. Jerome Ascano

    PRESIDENT Duterte is set to send off the Philippine contingent to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in simple rites at Malacanang, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Butch Ramirez said.

    Butch Ramirez made the assurance on Saturday, saying Duterte is set to receive the 498-athlete strong national contingent either Monday or Tuesday at Malacanang.

    “The Presidential Management Staff, I was told, has approved the request made by delegation chef de mission, Madam Cynthia Carrion asking an audience with the President when the athletes and officials pay a courtesy call on him before the nationals fly to KL sometime next week,” Ramirez told SPIN.ph.

    “Depende kasi sa schedule ng Pangulo. But I believe it could be Monday or Tuesday because I was told members of our delegation will be leaving Wednesday or Thursday,” Ramirez said.

    “But what I can assure is the President is definitely meeting with our athletes, coaches and officials to give them inspiration and motivation in their quest for glory and honor for themselves and country,” the PSC head asserted.

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    Duterte also honored the Philippine delegation to last year's Rio Olympics with a send-off ceremony in Malacanang.

    If the Malacanang send-off pushes through, it will be the first time in more than six years that a Chief Executive will meet a SEA Games-bound delegation in a pre-departure ceremony.

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    In all of his six years in office, former president Noynoy Aquino never sent off or welcomed a national contingent to an international competition.

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    President Duterte with the Rio Olympics-bound Filipino athletes. Jerome Ascano
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