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Duterte brings sizeable delegation in Israel trip

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By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has brought a sizeable delegation to his four-day official visit to Israel, including 46 government officials and workers and 150 businessmen.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with the members of his cabinet as they meet with the Filipino community in Israel at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem on September 2, 2018. (KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with the members of his cabinet as they meet with the Filipino community in Israel at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem on September 2, 2018. (KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque revealed the official list of the President’s delegation abroad in a bid to downplay an Israeli news report that his party supposedly numbered around 400.

“The total number of official delegates and accompanying delegates consists of 46 pax total. That’s in the official list,” said Roque, who is part of the President’s official delegation that rode the chartered Philippine Airlines flight to Israel last Sunday.

“I do know there’s a substantial business delegation of at least 150 who are all travelling on their own accounts,” he said.

The number of delegates, however, does not yet include the President’s security team, and his communication team.

Roque said he would still try to find out the number of Presidential Security Group (PSG) and military personnel accompanying the President’s latest foreign trip.

He added he was “not sure where figure of 400 came from.”

The President is currently in Israel for an official visit upon the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is scheduled to hold talks with Netanyahu, and visit the Yan Vashem Holocaust museum on Monday.

From Israel, Duterte is expected to visit Jordan on September 5 to 8.

The President’s delegation to Israel includes his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio and his grandson Marko Digong, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and 12 other Cabinet members.

Among the lawmakers accompanying the President are Senator Richard Gordon, Davao del Norte Re. Antonio Floirendo Jr., Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr., and Camarines Sur. Rep. LRay Villafuerte.

Among the officials in the President’s party are Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Rear Admiral Elson Hermogino, and Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board chief executive officer and commissioner Lloyd Christopher Lao.

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