Ted Aljibe | AFP | Getty Images
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at a joint press conference at Malacanang Palace in Manila on March 13, 2017.
A shooting incident took place on Tuesday close to the Manila residence of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, a spokesman for his security detail said, but an official from the presidential palace said Duterte was not there at the time.
The incident took place in Malacanang Park, the base of Duterte’s guard unit and close to his Bahay ng Pagbabago residence, Presidential Security Group spokesman Mike Aquino said in a text message to reporters. He said the unit was investigating the incident and had no more details.
DZMM radio reported that one person was wounded.
There were conflicting messages from the presidential palace on Duterte’s whereabouts, however. He spent the weekend in his home city, Davao, and was not seen in public on Monday. He was due to attend some events in Manila on Tuesday evening.
One palace official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said Duterte was not there at the time.
However, the president’s spokesman, Ernesto Abella, could not confirm where Duterte was. He said it was too soon to comment on the incident.
“It’s being investigated and the nature of the situation needs to be clarified,” Abella told a regular news briefing.
“Let this be sufficient at this stage,” he said. Asked if the palace was concerned, Abella said: “Of course it’s a matter of concern but we need to clarify what it’s all about.”
Duterte is notoriously unpredictable and often causes confusion with his schedules and time-keeping. Every week he spends long weekends in Davao City, starting on Friday or even earlier.