MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Today’s Rizal Day, a national day commemorating the martyrdom of the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, began with the ceremonial honors and wreath-laying at the hero’s monument in Luneta.
The ceremonies were led by no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.
Vice President Leni Robredo was there, too, but with no starring role, unlike in last June 12’s celebration of Philippine Independence Day.
At the Independence Day festivities, also held at Luneta, Duterte missed what was supposed to be his first Independence Day celebration as President. He had urgent things to do that day.
So it was Robredo who led the ceremonies, leading to that viral photo showing her making that awkward hand salute. Many critics not only scoffed at her hand gesture but also pointed out that only those in military uniform should be making a salute.
So why is Robredo disappointed despite being at Luneta for Rizal Day?
In an ambush interview by The Adobo Chronicles with Robredo’s right-hand woman extraordinaire Georgina Hernandez, she intimated that the Vice President had practiced making the correct and proper salute since June 12, hoping that she can rectify her error come December 30.
But alas, Duterte was there and did just perfectly with his hand salute, while Robredo watched from a distance holding back her tears. “That could have been me,” she was heard whispering as the President saluted the flag and the Rizal Monument.