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Duterte given invite to attend Tokyo Olympics says PSC chief Ramirez

President Rodrigo Duterte could travel to Tokyo to support the Filipino Olympians. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--There is a possibility that no less than President Rodrigo Duterte might visit Tokyo later this month and watch the Olympic Games there in person.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez revealed on Friday that Duterte has been invited to attend the Olympiad which will start on July 23 in the Japanese capital.

"Ang presidente, may slot doon sa IOC (International Olympic Committee) na inayunan ng national Olympic committee [ng Japan]," Ramirez said in the PSC Hour of Radyo Pilipinas 2.

He also said that he and PSC chief of staff Marc Velasco will fly to Tokyo as part of the delegation regardless of Duterte's final decision, which means three government officials might watch the Tokyo Olympics if Duterte indeed joins the delegation.

"Tama lang na nandoon kami for whatever the needs of the athletes financially. I don't want to be reprimanded from our government for remiss of the support of these athletes," Ramirez further said.

What could prevent Duterte from attending at least the first few days, however, is that his final State of the Nation Address as chief executive is scheduled on July 26, well within the Olympic period which will run until Aug. 8, although he can opt to travel there after the SONA.

Following the announcement of the entry of swimmers Luke Gebbie and Remedy Rule, the Philippines will have 19 representatives to the Tokyo Olympics.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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