Why Honeylet Avanceña had lunch with Melania Trump
It was the most controversial luncheon in recent history, the First Lady of the most powerful nation inviting the supposed "First Lady" of the Philippines, the long-time partner of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Honeylet Avanceña was going to New York, but neither Broadway nor ambiguous "advocacy work" was on her mind. Rather, it was the President and the country that he rules over, Avanceña said during the Philippine National Police (PNP)'s Life After TokHang launch on Monday, October 2.
Avanceña referred to the New York event as a "non-political luncheon".
She sat on table 3 and Melania Trump was on table 2, she recalled. To her left was the husband of the US ambassador to the United Nations, and to her right was "an officer from homeland security" whose name she had forgotten.
Avanceña, described by many as shy and humble, told the man on her right: "You know what sir, my intention was really to inform. Because our country was misunderstood and our President was musinderstood."
"You know what’s happening in Marawi right now?" she started.
Duterte's long-time partner talked about the merciless war, and told the security official of stories of sorrow from the ground, and stories of courage with her husband.
She said Duterte could have stayed away from the battle ground, but he flew in 4 times, and was one with the troops. By Monday, October 2, Duterte made his 6th visit to Marawi.
Avanceña recalled telling the story of a soldier she personally knew in Marawi.
"Hindi nila alam na ganito ang nangyayari and hindi nila naiintindihan kung bakit the President handles the situation in such a way," she told the audience, breaking her story. (They don't know what is happening, and they don't understand why the President handles the situation in such a way.)
Her story comes at a time when there is international condemnation of her husband for his locally popular but bloody war on drugs.
It was apparently raised during the New York lunch as well, with the topic supposedly ending with Avanceña telling the American: "You know what sir, you don't know if the terrrorist going to the US or Europe will come from my country."
Echoing her husband, Avanceña explained how drugs fund terrorism.
"It could be easier for the President to just ignore his promise during election. His life could be easier if he could just stop [his] promise [to] eradicate drug addiction, parang dedma na lang (and just leave it unfinished)," Avanceña said.
For her, the lunch was not political but really personal. Or was it? – Rappler.com
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