• Flowers sicken Aquino

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    President Benigno Aquino 3 rd was unable to attend the inauguration of the country’s “longest” bridge on Thursday because of an allergy attack.

    According to his sister Viel Aquino Dee, the President woke up ill and without a voice yesterday. Viel represented Aquino in the inauguration of Aluling Bridge in Cervantes, Ilocos Sur.

    The 180-meter long bridge, which cost P191.3 million, was dubbed the “longest” because it took 35 years to finish.

    “Humihingi po ako ng paumanhin at ako na lang po ang naging panakipbutas po dito dahil po nagising po ang aking kuya na hindi ho makapagsalita,” Viel said. “Wala ho siyang boses so kahit po nakarating siya dito hindi rin niya ho maipapabahagi sa inyo ‘yung kanyang mensahe. Kaya ako na lang po ang maghahatid nito sa inyo.”

    Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte confirmed that the President stayed in his official residence in Bahay Pangarap to take some rest. He also had to cancel a meeting with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.

    According to Valte, the President’s allergic attack was triggered by flowers. Aquino was exposed to the blooms when he attended the anniversary of the Philippine National Police in Camp Crame in Quezon City on Tuesday.

    “He has an adverse reaction when he is exposed to many flowers at close proximity,” Valte told reporters.

    “It is not due to the floral arrangements at the Palace which are put in strategic places. The President was surrounded by flowers at the PNP event last Tuesday,” she said.

    Aquino had a similar attack when he visited Australia in October last year, prompting him to skip a dinner hosted by then Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

    Catherine Valente

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