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Reply to ‘Tale of two gatherings’

Letter . 

Roa clan officers welcome President Duterte prior to escorting him onstage where he spoke to Roa relatives during the 4th clan grand reunion held here recently. From left: Ruel Daba, A. Paulita Roa, and Jose Gabriel la Viña. (photo provided by A. Paulita Roa)

I READ with amusement and a sense of wonderment the “tale” woven by a Mr. Teo Lacha on what transpired during the recent 4th Roa Clan Grand Reunion with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as the guest of honor.This was held last Jan.25-26, 2019 at the Atrium.

First of all, the Roa Clan Philippines was set up in 2017 with Pompee la Viña as the chair of the board of directors while I am the clan president. Ruel Roa Daba is the executive vice president, among others. The three of us were requested by the Malacañan Protocol Officer and the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) to exclusively welcome the President and escort him onstage.

After the customary handshakes and as the four of us walked towards the stage – PRDU30 on the extreme left, next was Pompee, myself and Daba, I distinctly heard the President say this to Pompee, “Unsa man, ipataas ko na imong kamot?” Pompee only smiled and did not answer him.

I think that he was too surprised at that presidential offer that as we both  sat beside each other onstage, he nudged me and asked if the President really said that “ipataas niya ang iyang kamot.” When I replied in the affirmative, he was wondering when and where that will happen.

After the speech and photo ops, it was simply good manners for reunion hosts like Pompee and me to accompany the President to the door and thank him for coming. But it was only Pompee who did that because I had to make some announcements for the reunion program the following day. I only saw the hand-raising foto that took place a few meters outside the door on FB a few hours later.

Pastilan, Mr.Lacha, please get your facts straight! If you are still in doubt please ask the President himself. Also I don’t think that he will endorse a mayoral candidate who is tainted with numerous  plunder, graft and corruption cases.

One last thing – all those who were seated onstage were relatives by blood and affinity. No one was jockeying to be seated with the President for the decision as to who will sit onstage came from the Malacañan protocol officer and the PMS. – A. Paulita “Nanette” Roa, president, Roa Clan Philippines

(The author is a candidate for councilor, and she is running under the ticket of former Agriculture undersecretary Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña. Ms. Roa has taken a break from contributing opinion pieces about local history for this paper after she filed her certificate of candidacy.)

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