• Malacañang cancels June 12 reception

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    The traditional vin d’honneur to commemorate Independence Day on June 12 has been cancelled to enable President Rodrigo Duterte to focus on the Marawi crisis, Malacañang said Saturday.

    Mourning the body of abdillah masid, 15, is surrounded by his family inside the Camp ranao mosque in barangay saber in marawi on friday. abdilla died after a stray bullet hit him in the neck during afternoon prayers inside the mosque. more than 200,000 people displaced after islamist militants attacked marawi are facing deadly health risks, relief groups said friday after a fleeing mother said her baby died because of a lack of medical care. AFP PHOtO

    Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte would only attend the flag-raising rites at the Rizal Park in Manila on Monday morning and then immediately leave to attend to the Mindanao problem.

    “The vin d’honneur scheduled on Monday, June 12, has been cancelled. After the Rizal Park flag-raising activity, on the same day, the President will attend to matters pertaining Mindanao,” Abella said.

    State leaders, mermbers of the diplomatic corps and other guests traditionally gather in Malacañang to mark Independence Day.

    Duterte hosted his first vin d’honneur in January to mark the New Year.

    The President has spent most of his time in Mindanao since the armed conflict began, interacting with troops in various camps in the south.

    On May 23, Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law after the Maute extremist group launched attacks on the predominantly Muslim city of Marawi in the province of Lanao del Sur.

    The President imposed martial law to stop terror activities in Mindanao.

    The military has vowed earlier to “liberate” Marawi City by June 12.

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